Trump vows to protect 2nd Amendment after gun briefing

WASHINGTON (AP) — United States (US) President Donald Trump pledged on Thursday to protect the Second Amendment, hours after huddling with top advisers to discuss gun control measures he might be willing to publicly stand behind.

Speaking to reporters before flying to Baltimore for a Republican retreat, Trump insisted “a lot of progress” had been made on background checks “and various things having to do with guns” during the Thursday’s discussion. But he also made clear that he’s weary of angering gun proponents, suggesting Democrats’ push for new gun control measures following a summer of mass shootings might be nothing more than “a ploy”.

“There’s a possibility that this is just a ploy to take your guns away,” he said.

He added later in Baltimore, “Democrats want to confiscate guns from law-abiding Americans so they’re totally defenceless when somebody walks into their house with a gun.” No Democratic candidates have proposed stripping all guns from Americans, though former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke said during the Thursday night’s Democratic debate that he supports a mandatory buyback programme for assault-type weapons like the AK-47.

Trump’s comments came after he was briefed on Thursday on a list of potential gun control measures that his aides, members of Congress and Capitol Hill staffers have been discussing and that there appears to be broad internal agreement on. That includes going after fraudulent buyers, taking measures to notify state and local law enforcement when a potential buyer fails a background check, issuing state-level emergency risk protection orders, boosting mental health assistance and expediting executions for those found guilty of committing mass shootings.

US President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before departing on Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House. PHOTO: AP