Protesters call for stronger gun control laws in the United States on February 17, 2018 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida after a shootout at a high school in the area that left 17 dead
US President Donald Trump is backing a boost in background checks on the purchase of a firearm, the White House announced Monday, a few days after a deadly shootout at a Florida high school.
Since the shooting, Mr. Trump had been silent about gun regulations. In a speech in the aftermath of the tragedy, he focused on the need to identify people with psychiatric problems.
Nikolas Cruz, a former high school student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, North Miami, Florida, fired a semi-automatic rifle Wednesday in the corridors of the facility, killing 17 people, most of them teenagers.
Aged 19, he had obtained the authorization to buy his weapon despite reports of violent behavior.
„The President spoke Friday with Senator (Republican John) Cornyn about the bipartisan bill that Senator (Democrat Chris) Murphy and he introduced to improve federal legislation“ on criminal background checks, „said Monday. Executive spokeswoman Sarah Sanders in a statement.
„As discussions continue and changes are contemplated, the President supports efforts to improve the federal system of background checks,“ she said.
This bill, concocted by a group of Republican and Democrat parliamentarians, was introduced in November „to ensure that federal and local authorities enforce existing legislation and correctly report relevant criminal records to the national snapshot record file. (NICS) „, according to a statement released at the time.
It is this file that gunsmiths must consult before selling a weapon, to check the criminal record of the buyer, and if he has the right to acquire one.
– ‚Shame on you‘ –
Portrait of Nikolas Cruz, author of the shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people on February 14, 2018
„Too often we come to the conclusion that horrific acts could have been prevented by careful and thorough scrutiny,“ said one of the reporters of the text, Republican Tim Scott.
The project was presented after a shooting by a former soldier in a church in Texas, which killed 25 people including a pregnant woman.
Devin Kelley, the shooter, had been court-martialed for violence against his wife and his young child and then expelled from the US Air Force. But the army had not informed the Federal Police (FBI) of his conviction and he had therefore been able to buy a semi-automatic rifle.
In the case of Nikolas Cruz, the FBI admitted receiving in January a detailed report of the young man who already possessed his weapon, reporting erratic behavior and disturbing messages posted on social networks evoking a massacre in a school.
But the federal police had taken no action.
The Florida shooting resuscitated the debate between those calling for tighter arms control, such as widespread pre-sale criminal and judicial checkups, and those opposed to it, most notably the powerful National Rifle Association. (NRA) on behalf of the second amendment to the Constitution. This guarantees the right for every American to own and carry a weapon.
Survivors of the killings on Saturday denounced the links between the political world and the NRA, which they say are blocking reform efforts.
„To all politicians who have received donations from the NRA, Shame on you,“ shouted a high school student, Emma Gonzalez, after blasting Mr. Trump for receiving the support of the powerful group during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Survivors announced Sunday a major demonstration in Washington on March 24 to call for the speedy passage of a law strengthening gun regulations.