- The Washington Times - Monday, August 5, 2019

President Trump on Monday suggested tying new gun controls to immigration reform and said Democrats and Republicans should come together to “get strong background checks,” after weekend shootings in Texas and Ohio left at least 29 people dead and dozens more injured.

“Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying … this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform. We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!” the president said on Twitter.

“We cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, die in vain,” he said. “Likewise for those so seriously wounded. We can never forget them, and those many who came before them.”

The president was scheduled to deliver more detailed remarks at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

He is expected to travel to Dayton and El Paso on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported, citing FAA travel advisories of a “VIP movement” at those cities.

“I’ve spoken to members of Congress about whatever we can do, and a lot of things are being done right now as we speak,” Mr. Trump said on Sunday. “A lot of things are in the works, and a lot of good things. We have done much more than most administrations … but perhaps more has to be done.”

The Democratic-controlled House passed legislation earlier this year to expand gun-purchase background checks to virtually all gun sales. Right now, only federally licensed dealers are required to perform the checks.

The House also approved a bill to extend the amount of time a dealer has to wait to hear back from the FBI before approving a sale — an effort to close the so-called “Charleston loophole” after a gunman who killed nine people at a South Carolina church in 2015 was able to get a firearm despite a pending drug charge.

Those bills have not been passed by the GOP-controlled Senate.

After the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in February 2018, Congress did pass — and Mr. Trump signed — legislation to encourage states to submit more records into the national instant background check system, though many Democrats said that measure alone fell short of what was needed.

Dave Boyer contributed to this article.

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