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Sunday September 20th, 2020 12:15PM

The Latest: Melania Trump glad children speaking about guns

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's meeting with the nation's governors (all times local):

1 p.m.

Melania Trump says she has been "heartened" to see children "across this country" speaking out after the deadly shooting at a Florida high school.

The first lady says children are the future and "they deserve a voice."

Mrs. Trump commented Monday at a White House lunch for spouses of the nation's governors, who are in Washington for their annual meeting.

Seventeen students and teachers were killed nearly two weeks ago in the shooting at the Parkland, Florida, school. The first lady joined President Donald Trump when he visited in Florida with victims of the shooting and law enforcement officers who responded.

The first lady says that she can't imagine the kind of grief a tragedy like that brings. She and the president have an 11-year-old son, Barron.

__

12:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump has concluded his meeting with governors on how to address school shootings.

During a 75-minute event on Monday, Trump called on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to outline the steps he is taking to respond to the Feb. 13 shooting in Parkland, Fla. Scott said he plans to increase funding to protect schools and to tighten gun restrictions on those with mental health issues.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, one of two Democrats to address Trump publicly, spoke up in condemnation of Trump's calls to arm teachers to respond to school shootings.

Inslee told the president, "We need a little less Tweeting, a little more listening." Trump defended the proposal, saying he believes "retribution" is the only way to prevent more school shootings.

___

12:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he doesn't want all teachers to carry guns — just those who have a "natural talent."

Speaking to the nation's governors in the White House, the president responded Monday to news coverage of his calls to arm teachers to prevent school shootings after the mass school shooting that killed 17 people.

Trump says he wants "highly-trained people that have a natural talent, like hitting a baseball or hitting a golf ball or putting" to be armed in schools.

Trump says the only way to stop school shootings is "retribution." He says "the bad guy has to understand that there's a big price to pay if your mess around with our students."

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11:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he had lunch during the weekend with key leaders of the National Rifle Association as he seeks to address gun violence and school safety.

Trump is telling the nation's governors that he had lunch with the NRA's Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox and expressing surprise that word of the lunch didn't leak to the media.

The president says the NRA officials, "want to do something" to address the issue.

The president says there is "no bigger fan of the Second Amendment than me," but there's a need to boost background checks and ensure that a "sicko" is unable to get a gun.

He's also telling the governors about the need to increase access to mental institutions.

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11:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump is telling the nation's governors that he would have run into the deadly Florida high school shooting "even if I didn't have a weapon."

The president is again finding fault with officers who didn't stop the Florida gunman who carried out the massacre earlier this month. Trump says the deputies "weren't exactly Medal of Honor winners."

He tells 39 of the nation's governors, "I really believe I'd run in there even if I didn't have a weapon."

Trump is vowing to turn the nation's "grief into action" following the mass school shooting that killed 17 people. Trump says that while "our nation is heartbroken," the U.S. needs "to have action" on measures related to school safety and gun violence.

___

8:30 a.m.

Eric Trump says there is room for "common sense" gun measures in the wake of a Florida school shooting.

Trump spoke on "Fox and Friends" Monday. He called himself a "big Second Amendment person," but suggested support for raising the age limit to buy certain weapons and strengthening background checks.

Says Trump: "We can't have our kids shot up in schools."

Since a mass shooting at a Florida high school on February 14, President Donald Trump has offered a number of ideas. They include raising the minimum age to purchase assault-style weapons and arming teachers, though on Saturday the president tweeted that the latter was "Up to states."

Congress returns to work Monday after a 10-day break under pressure to respond to the outcry over gun violence.

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1:19 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school is the top issue he wants to discuss with the nation's governors.

Under pressure to act to stem gun violence on school grounds, Trump planned to solicit input from the state chief executives during meetings Monday at the White House. The governors are in Washington for their annual winter meeting.

But socializing was the focus Sunday night as Trump and first lady Melania Trump hosted the governors for an annual black-tie ball.

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