13:20 GMT30 May 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he is willing to sign a comprehensive gun reform bill, but it must be strong on background checks.

    "I think we’re going to have a vote, I think it’s going to be a very successful vote and I will sign it," Trump said during a meeting with members of Congress at the White House. "I will call whoever you want me to if I like what you’re doing, and I think I like what you’re doing already, but you can add to it. But you have to be very, very powerful on background checks."

    Trump said the bipartisan bill must also be very strong on addressing mental health issues and urged members of Congress to do what is right when it comes to such issues.

    The US president concluded the meeting by calling on the lawmakers to begin the process of crafting a bipartisan bill on gun reform.

    Placing an age limit of 21 years on purchasing certain weapons is an idea Trump said he wanted to include in the gun reform bill, adding that he wants to push for establishing gun-free zones on military bases as a means to counter shootings there.

    Trump also said a ban on bump stocks and other similar devices that turn semi-automatic into automatic weapons is in the works and will be presented via an executive order soon.

    In a disagreement with US Congressman Steve Scalise proposal on concealed carry measures being included in the bill, Trump said concealed carry legislation should be considered in a separate bill.

    US Senator Chris Murphy told Trump nothing was done in previous administrations because the gun lobby has a veto power over any proposals that have come through Congress and the lobby’s power should not be underestimated.

    However, Trump said lawmakers should not be afraid of gun lobby groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA). He illustrated by giving an example of having lunch with NRA representatives on Sunday and said they have less power over him.


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