President Donald Trump, after days of back and forth with the National Rifle Association, said Monday he's prepared to fight the gun rights group over his preferred gun safety principles if necessary.
What's the background?
In the days after Florida's deadly Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Trump announced that he would be in support of expanded gun control measures, including a federal ban on bump stocks and raising the age to legally purchase certain rifles to 21 years old. The president has also been vocal about increased background checks.
The NRA, which endorsed Trump during the 2016 election, pushed back on Trump's proposals Sunday, stating that they do not support any of Trump's suggested modifications to U.S. gun laws.
NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch told ABC News' "This Week" that the gun organization doesn't support any ban.
"The NRA doesn’t back any ban," Loesch said, later adding that the group also opposes raising the minimum age to purchase certain firearms — to include the controversial AR-15.
Trump and the NRA do agree, however, on several other aspects. For example, the president has been a vocal proponent of training and arming school teachers — a defense option widely supported by the NRA — and has repeatedly agreed with the gun group's statements that existing gun laws should be enforced.
Trump tweeted Saturday, "Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them. Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again - a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States."
Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them. Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again - a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2018
Loesch said that the organization believes the decision to arm teachers should be left up to individual schools.
What happened next?
Trump told U.S. governors Monday that they shouldn't be afraid to stand up against the NRA and revealed that he'd recently met with officials from within the group.
Trump expressed his willingness to take on the NRA and, according to Bloomberg, told the governors, "Don’t worry about the NRA," adding that the group is "on our side."
"But sometimes we’re going to have to be very tough and we’re going to have to fight them," Trump added, noting that "they think they're doing what's right."
During his remarks to the nation's governors, Trump also addressed the idea of a bump stock ban, saying that he would "put them into the machine gun category" and would ban them himself if Congress failed to take action.
“Bump stocks, we are writing that out. I am writing that out,” he said. “I don’t care if Congress does it or not, I’m writing it out myself."
"They're gone," he told governors in attendance, adding, "We'll turn our grief into action, we have to have action."
The NRA has yet to publicly comment on Trump's words to the nation's governors.