Tags: Donald Trump | Gun Control | Gun Rights | Mass Shootings | Trump Administration | raj shah | white house

Raj Shah: Trump Looking to Strengthen National Background Checks

Image: Raj Shah: Trump Looking to Strengthen National Background Checks
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 20 February 2018 01:33 PM

President Donald Trump is looking to strengthen the national background check system for gun purchases and several other factors to help make the nation's schools safer following the horrific shootings that claimed 17 lives at a Parkland, Florida high school last week, White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said Tuesday.

"There are ways to strengthen the background check system," Shah told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" co-host Bill Hemmer, while pointing out the troubled background of accused school shooter Nikolas Cruz.

"One of the specific things we're looking at is the fact this troubled individual had dozens of calls to the police, dozens of visits to his home, he had the aunt who called the FBI," said Shah. "There were many red flags raised and nothing was done. When you are able to have a specific troubled individual that law enforcement and people are focused on, how come nobody can take action? We're also looking at that area."

Trump will meet with students, parents, teachers and others on Wednesday to hear what they feel and confront on a daily basis, and on Thursday he'll hear from local law enforcement, school officials, teachers and others who are affected by such horrific tragedies.

"There is also going to be a meeting on Thursday in which the president is going to hear from local law enforcement, school officials, and others more on the policy side at the local level for dealing with this," said Shah.

Trump also will meet with the National Governor's Association this coming weekend, where he will push school safety as an issue, said Shah.

"We want to hear from everyone who is a stakeholder," said Shah. "Really, all the country is a stakeholder."

But rather than legislation, he thinks Trump's expectation is to figure out what has gone wrong in society "when these kinds of horrific acts keep occurring."

The AR-15 gun used in last week's school shooting has been a legal weapon for the past 50 years, but school shootings are a relatively recent occurrence, said Shah.

"Mass shootings are a real epidemic in this country," he said. "We want to try to see what are the best ways to confront them. Whether it's fixing the background check system or strengthening our existing laws as well as, you know, looking at finding these troubled individuals."

Shah also spoke of Trump's tweets concerning Russia, and that the administration is preparing local and state officials to prevent meddling from happening in the future.

"We're also working with vendors, private sector vendors on ways to prevent election hacking," he said. "To the president's tweet this is something we think there is a bit of a revision of history going on about how this president has confronted Russia and dealt with Russia and how the last administration dealt and confronted Russia."

It was the Obama administration, he added, that implemented the Russia reset policy of making "concession after concession after concession" to Russian President Vladimir Putin with "very little in return."

"You know, this president has confronted Russia when appropriate," said Shah. "He has stepped forward and authorized the sale of offensive weapons in Ukraine and authorized air strikes in Syria over Russian objections. Last week, the White House called out Russia for the largest cyberattack in global history... what you had under the Obama administration was hot rhetoric and little results."

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President Donald Trump is looking to strengthen the national background check system for gun purchases and several other factors to help make the nation's schools safer following the horrific shootings that claimed 17 lives at a Parkland, Florida high school last week,...
raj shah, white house, donald trump, strengthen, national background checks
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2018-33-20
Tuesday, 20 February 2018 01:33 PM
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