WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump hosted state governors at the White House Monday to generate ideas on how to stop gun violence in the nation’s schools.
Trump announced that he plans to “write out” bump stocks that turn semi-automatic firearms into automatic weapons.
The gunman behind the Oct. 1 shooting in Las Vegas, which claimed the lives of 58 people, used such a device.
Monday’s meeting comes after the commander in chief sat down with survivors of the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed.
“Our nation is heartbroken. We continue to mourn the loss of so many precious lives,” President Trump said during Monday’s White House meeting. “These are incredible people. I visited a lot of them. But we’ll turn our grief into action. We have to have action. We don’t have any action.”
Trump told 39 of the nation’s governors that “even if I didn’t have a weapon” he would have run into the school.
It’s at the White House that students, teachers and parents voiced their concerns to President Trump and gave their recommendations on how to keep schools safe.
Trump also got input from state and local officials
Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced a $500 million initiative to have significant law enforcement and mental illness counselors at every school.
“If you go into a Florida school, you will know that your child will come home safely,” Gov. Scott pledged.
President Trump supports tightening background checks, raising the minimum age to purchase assault-style weapons and re-opening mental institutions.
Trump said he had lunch with leaders of the National Rifle Association over the weekend, noting that NRA officials “want to do something.”
“Don’t worry about the NRA. They are on our side,” said Trump. “Sometimes we have to fight the NRA.”
“They are doing what they think is right,” he said of the group. “But sometimes we’re going to have to be very tough and fight them. We need strong background checks.”
On Capitol Hill, Congress is returning to work after a 10-day break under pressure to respond to the outcry over gun violence.
Senators are introducing a bill to raise the minimum age required to purchase a rifle, which includes weapons like the AR-15 used in the Parkland shooting.
Trump says America needs “to have action” on issues related to gun violence and school safety.