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Trump says more must be done to protect children

WASHINGTON (AP) President Donald Trump is declaring that more must be done to protect America's children.

With a Florida community grieving over the latest school shooting, Trump is directing the Justice Department to ban devices like the rapid-fire bump stocks used in last year's Las Vegas massacre.

On Wednesday afternoon, Trump is hosting parents, teachers and students for a ``listening session'' that will include people impacted by the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, and the shootings in Columbine, Colorado, and Newtown.


In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump indicated he wants to strengthen the background check system, but offered no specifics.


Sen. Chris Murphy said Trump's directive on bump stocks suggested the president was aware of fresh energy on the issue and called it a sign that "for the first time" politicians are "scared of the political consequences of inaction on guns."

A bipartisan legislative effort to ban bump stocks last year fizzled out. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced in December that it was reviewing whether weapons using bump stocks should be considered illegal machine guns under federal law.


The federal background check bill was developed in response to a mass shooting last November in which a gunman slaughtered more than two dozen people at a Texas church. It would penalize federal agencies that don't properly report required records and reward states that comply by providing them with federal grant preferences. The measure, which is pending in the Senate, was drafted after the Air Force acknowledged that it failed to report the Texas gunman's domestic violence conviction to the National Criminal Information Center database.

The GOP-controlled House paired the background checks bill with a measure making it easier for gun owners to legally carry concealed weapons across state lines. The concealed carry measure would allow gun owners with a state-issued concealed-carry permit to carry a handgun in any state that allows concealed weapons.

Murphy said any attempt to combine background checks with concealed-carry provisions would significantly jeopardize the chances of passing bipartisan reform of the background checks system.

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