Kaine supports expanded background checks for gun buyers

MCLEAN, Va. — Sen. Tim Kaine, of Virginia, says he supports a more comprehensive federal background check system to vet people wanting to buy guns in America.

The Democratic vice presidential nominee — a gun owner himself — says he supports the Second Amendment, but that there are rules that society needs to have to live safely.

“We need a background record check system to keep the weapons out of hands of people who have been determined too dangerous to have them, and if we have that, everyone will be safer,” Kaine told WTOP on Thursday.

Kaine’s comments are consistent with the Hillary Clinton campaign’s platform on gun violence prevention. Clinton calls for expanded background checks to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, violent criminals and the severely mentally ill.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump calls the federal background check system a broken one, which should not be expanded. “What we need to do is fix the system we have and make it work as intended,” the Trump website reads.

Kaine says many gun owners, including National Rifle Association members, support an expanded system, and he criticized the NRA for not getting behind the plan.

“They’re [the NRA] trying to cotton up to the gun manufactures — they don’t even represent their members anymore on this,” Kaine said.

WTOP reached out to the NRA for comment and is awaiting a response. On its website, the organization says it opposes expanding firearm background checks systems because the checks don’t stop guns from getting into the hands of serious criminals.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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