- The Washington Times - Friday, February 23, 2018

President Trump said Friday that he is ready to push legislation to expand background checks for firearm purchases with a focus on preventing the mentally ill from getting guns.

“There is a movement to get something done. We want to be very powerful on background checks,” Mr. Trump said at a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr. Trump said he had discussed the issue with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

Mr. Trump also said he wanted to clear the way for teachers who are qualified with handguns to carry in schools.

He said it would be a deterrent to future school shooters.

“You aren’t going to solve it with gun-free spaces,” he said.

The president said he was determined to succeed on improving background checks where his predecessors had failed, as President Obama did after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

“You’ve had people in my position and they would mention things and not a lot would get done,” Mr. Trump said.

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