Gun control debate heats up as President Trump visits first responders, survivors of Dayton mass shooting

President visits with Dayton shooting victims

DAYTON, Ohio (FOX19) - Sen. Sherrod Brown and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley reiterated on Wednesday they hope President Donald Trump will take action on gun control.

Trump visited Dayton Wednesday, three days after a gunman killed nine people and injured 27 in a mass shooting in the city’s nightlife district.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Brown and Whaley said they are echoing what they have heard from the Dayton community - to do something.

WATCH LIVE: Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Sen. Brown are discussing Trump's visit >> https://bit.ly/2ZFEwMB

Posted by FOX19 on Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Brown said he asked Trump to call on Senator Mitch McConnell to bring the Senate back in session this week to pass the background check bill in the House.

He said he asked the president to promise to sign the bill into law and Trump’s response was he “would get things done.”

Whaley, who was focused on gun control laws, was asked to characterize her meeting with the president.

“I think he heard me. I don’t know if he will take action. I’m hoping for the people of Dayton that he does, but both the senator and I spoke very directly what we’ve been saying the whole time about the need for common sense gun legislation,” she said.

Brown pinpointed the blame on Republicans, stating the National Rifle Association pours millions of dollars into their political races.

“We can’t get anything done in the Senate because Mitch McConnell and the President of the United States are in bed with the gun lobby. “Be honest about this. Guns are a big, big part of this and we have a whole political party in this country now, with the exception of Congressman Turner, that’s in bed with the gun lobby,” said Brown.

Turner, whose daughter was nearby when the gunman opened fire, announced Tuesday he backs a ban on “military-style” guns, magazine limits and so-called “red flag” legislation to identify potentially dangerous people and remove their firearms under a court order.

While wanting action on gun control, Brown also spoke about mental health.

He said if Trump supports it, he “must support the Medicaid expansion and Affordable Care Act that provide care for so many.”

Brown said while meeting with Trump, the president mentioned wanting to give honors and awards to the responding police officers - but said that’s not the answer.

“The last thing I said to the president before he left - we’d just met with police officers in the hospital in a conference room, and the president said we want to give honors and awards to these police officers - I said ‘Mr. President, respectfully, in a group of 20, 30, or 40 people , Mr. President respectfully, the most important thing you can do for these police officers is take these assault weapons off the streets so they don’t have to go up against those assault weapons when they need to take down a shooter and when they need to make an arrest.”

Shortly after Trump left Dayton, he tweeted that the news conference Brown and Whaley held was a “fraud.”

“Just left Dayton, Ohio, where I met with the Victims & families, Law Enforcement, Medical Staff & First Responders. It was a warm & wonderful visit. Tremendous enthusiasm & even Love. Then I saw failed Presidential Candidate (0%) Sherrod Brown & Mayor Whaley totally misrepresenting what took place inside of the hospital. Their news conference after I left for El Paso was a fraud. It bore no resemblance to what took place with those incredible people that I was so lucky to meet and spend time with. They were all amazing!”

Whaley later fired back.

The president flew into Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and took a limousine to Miami Valley Hospital to visit several shooting victims who remain hospitalized there before meeting with Brown and Whaley.

Trump did not speak with the public or reporters during his visit.

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