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House Speaker Paul Ryan: 'We shouldn't be banning guns for law-abiding citizens'

House Speaker Paul Ryan signaled Tuesday he isn't supportive of the proposals to impose new restrictions on gun purch...

Posted: Feb 27, 2018 6:02 PM
Updated: Feb 27, 2018 6:02 PM

House Speaker Paul Ryan signaled Tuesday he isn't supportive of the proposals to impose new restrictions on gun purchases, telling reporters "we shouldn't be banning guns for law abiding citizens."

During a weekly news conference in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people, the Wisconsin Republican added, "we should be focusing on making sure that citizens who shouldn't get guns in the first place don't get those guns."

Instead, the speaker focused on narrow legislation to address gaps in the database used to process guns sales that he noted the House already approved.

"We do know there are gaps in the background check system that need to be plugged," he said. "We passed a bill to do that and we think that should get done clearly."

The House-passed bill was attached to another a proposal that loosens gun regulations and allows those with permits to carry concealed weapons to legally travel with those firearms to other states, a top priority of the National Rifle Association and something that many congressional observers say won't get the 60 votes it needs to get through the Senate.

Ryan also emphasized the failure by law enforcement to respond to reports about the shooter.

"We see a big breakdown in the system here," he said. "In this particular case, there were a lot of breakdowns -- from local law enforcement, to the FBI getting tips they didn't follow up on, to you know, school resource officers, who are trained to protect kids in these schools and who didn't do that. That, to me, is the most stunning one of them all."

He stressed that Congress would be investigating the series of missed tips and reports that were flagged to law enforcement agencies about the confessed shooter, Nikolas Cruz. He said he met with first responders in Broward County in the days after the shooting to hear about what happened.

Asked about arming teachers, Ryan suggested that the issue was not something Congress should take the lead on.

"As a parent myself and as a citizen, I think it's a good idea, but as speaker of the House, I think we need to respect federalism and respect local jurisdictions," he said.

Pressed about whether Congress was doing enough as students from the Florida high school make the rounds on Capitol Hill to urge top leaders to take action, Ryan again pointed to the problems preventing the incident, saying there was "a colossal breakdown" at the local level.

"Of course we want to listen to these kids, but we also want to make sure that we protect people's due process rights and legal constitutional rights while making sure that people who should not get guns don't get them," Ryan replied. "This kid was clearly one of those people."

The speaker pointed to larger questions about the culture and mental health laws that led to the troubled gunman to attack the school, saying, "There's bigger questions here than a narrow law."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 98190

Reported Deaths: 2969
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7189161
DeSoto569464
Harrison394175
Jackson358570
Rankin337280
Madison334190
Lee293572
Forrest254275
Jones252780
Washington227879
Lafayette221240
Lauderdale2078126
Bolivar187370
Oktibbeha181952
Lamar176237
Lowndes160858
Neshoba1599104
Panola151631
Sunflower149146
Leflore143882
Warren141850
Pontotoc130116
Monroe125369
Pike124954
Copiah119933
Scott118027
Coahoma117530
Lincoln112353
Marshall111821
Grenada110136
Holmes110060
Yazoo106733
Simpson105847
Tate101938
Union101224
Leake96538
Adams94937
Wayne91521
Pearl River91453
Prentiss88418
Marion87537
Itawamba85921
Alcorn83411
Covington83223
George78513
Tallahatchie78324
Newton78124
Winston74619
Tishomingo71039
Tippah70518
Chickasaw69524
Attala67225
Clarke61149
Walthall60426
Clay59919
Hancock59822
Jasper58415
Noxubee55816
Smith55115
Calhoun52912
Tunica50015
Montgomery47020
Claiborne46516
Yalobusha44414
Lawrence43914
Perry43221
Quitman3905
Greene38917
Stone38013
Humphreys37715
Jefferson Davis34711
Amite34210
Webster33913
Carroll33112
Wilkinson30818
Kemper29115
Sharkey26714
Jefferson2439
Benton2333
Franklin1993
Choctaw1876
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 138162

Reported Deaths: 2405
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson20221352
Mobile13558295
Tuscaloosa9029118
Montgomery8894187
Madison800580
Shelby616450
Lee601761
Baldwin564052
Marshall398345
Etowah357545
Calhoun356944
Morgan334929
Houston295421
Elmore273948
DeKalb246121
St. Clair237937
Walker236987
Talladega219030
Limestone215720
Cullman192220
Dallas179926
Franklin179430
Autauga179127
Russell17903
Lauderdale175934
Colbert168426
Blount162915
Escambia162024
Jackson161112
Chilton160930
Dale141844
Covington141628
Coffee13936
Pike122011
Chambers117942
Tallapoosa117385
Clarke110916
Marion97629
Butler91740
Barbour8967
Winston75112
Marengo72820
Pickens67215
Randolph67213
Bibb66411
Lowndes65927
Hale65328
Geneva6505
Lawrence63625
Cherokee62013
Bullock61015
Clay5929
Monroe5928
Washington56012
Crenshaw54532
Perry5436
Conecuh53811
Wilcox53211
Henry5145
Macon48318
Fayette47311
Sumter43419
Cleburne4085
Lamar3822
Choctaw35212
Greene30615
Coosa1743
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