Donald Trump is denouncing President Barack Obama’s plan to expand gun background checks via executive action, arguing that “a tremendous mental health problem,” not guns, is the cause of America’s mass shootings.
“I don’t like it,” he told CBS’s John Dickerson on “Face the Nation.” “I don’t like anything having to do with changing our Second Amendment. We have plenty of rules and regulations. It’s plenty of things they can do right now that are already there. They don’t do them.”
“We have a tremendous mental health problem,” Trump continued. “We are closing places all over the world, all over the country they are closing, but they are closing all over the world.”
He added: “All they want to do is blame the guns. And it is not the gun that pulls the trigger.”
An excerpt of the interview was released on Saturday, and the full clip is set to air Sunday morning.
Obama will meet Monday with Attorney General Loretta Lynch to discuss options for tougher gun restrictions and is expected to announce in the coming days a new executive action with the goal of expanding background checks on gun sales. Described as “imminent” by people familiar with the White House plans, the set of executive actions would fulfill a promise by the President to take further unilateral steps the administration says could help curb gun deaths.
Trump, who often tells supporters he’s a proud member of the National Rifle Association, has regularly opposed stricter gun control laws following several mass shootings, including those in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Roseburg, Oregon, Paris and San Bernardino, California. Instead, he has suggested that by arming more people, bystanders could return fire against criminals to save lives.
Last month, Trump differentiated himself from the rest of the GOP pack by saying he would consider supporting efforts to prohibit firearms purchases for no-fly list members.
“Well, I’d certainly take a look at it. I would,” Trump said following the San Bernardino attack. “I’m very strong into the whole thing with Second Amendment — but if you can’t fly, and if you’ve got some really bad — I would certainly look at that very hard.”