U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday his administration would seek to fill in background check loopholes for gun purchases after Democrats accused him of reversing course on gun control measures.
Trump spoke with the leader of the National Rifle Association lobbying group, Wayne LaPierre, on Tuesday, a White House official said. Trump told reporters outside the White House he did not tell LaPierre, whose group strongly opposes increased gun restrictions, he would avoid pursuing measures on background checks.
Trump said he views the number of gun deaths in the United States as a public health emergency and reiterated his belief that people who are mentally ill should not be allowed to buy guns.
On Tuesday, Trump, a Republican, said his administration was engaged in meaningful talks with Democrats, who control the U.S. House of Representatives, about gun legislation after gunmen in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, killed 31 people using semi-automatic rifles and high-volume magazines earlier this month.
Congressional aides, however, said the discussions have been low-level and generally unproductive.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; writing by Makini Brice; editing by Jonathan Oatis)