Schumer on Trump Gun Reform Talks: He 'Says What's Convenient'

Donald Trump

Complicating matters, after meeting with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence late on Thursday, the National Rifle Association's chief lobbyist Chris Cox said on Twitter that Trump and Pence "don't want gun control".

The Senate has been unable to untangle objections to a modest, relatively noncontroversial bill meant to improve the system for providing information to a federal background-check database.

Sanders said Trump believes that raising age limits to buy guns would have "more potential in the states than it would at the federal level".

The Florida school shooting rekindled a sharp debate over guns in a nation deeply divided over how to balance gun rights and safety, with a call for legislation to curb gun-related violence driven by the students who survived the February massacre.

"Don't worry about the NRA - they're on our side", Trump said.

Trump dined with the leadership of the NRA Thursday night who have opposed many of these measures. Its never certain whether this president will stick to his position or reverse course in a tweet, but for now there is a glimmer of hope in Washington for reasonable gun control.

The president also said the NRA has "great power over you people", but "less power over me".

"You know why", Trump scoffed.

Trump's comments came as he spoke to a bipartisan group of lawmakers this week in which they discussed solutions for preventing future mass shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead and 15 injured.

The rejoinder was especially odd given Toomey was one of few Republicans who supported his background checks bill, which failed, over the objections of the NRA.

At the end of a wide-ranging White House meeting Wednesday with congressional lawmakers on how to toughen gun laws, Trump urged Pennsylvania Sen.

But Pelosi said Trump would have to persuade members of his party to set aside their long-standing objections to even narrow new restrictions on guns.

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of CT, who had attended Wednesday's meeting, reacted on Twitter late Thursday to Trump's tweet on the NRA meeting. Trump mentioned arming teachers, and said his administration, not Congress, would ban "bump-stock" devices that enable guns to fire like automatic weapons with an executive order.

"Here with guns, it's a typical pattern", Schumer said. "He knows instinctively that this is the right thing to do both substantively, because it will save tens of thousands of lives, and politically, because over three-quarters of the American people support it". During that meeting, Trump suggested he'd like police to "take the guns first" and "do due process later", a policy Cornyn rebuked yesterday.

The gun control performance on Wednesday was reminiscent of a similar televised discussion with lawmakers about immigration in January during which the president appeared to back bipartisan legislation to help young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children - only to reverse himself and push a hard-line approach that helped scuttle consensus in the Senate.