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President Donald Trump addresses school safety during a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday, February 23, 2018. (Image: White House)

Trump says he's working with Congress on 'offensive capability' for school safety

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WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) — President Donald Trump said he is working with members of Congress on measures to prevent gun violence in schools, including providing offensive weapons to teachers.

Trump addressed the issue during a joint press conference with the Australian prime minister on Friday, saying that schools should no longer be "gun-free zones."

"We need offensive capability and we’re going to be doing something about it. We’re dealing with Congress right now," Trump said.

The president said he met earlier in the day with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. They discussed proposals for improving background checks, particularly for individuals with mental illness, getting rid of bump stocks, and providing offensive weapons to teachers or guards on school grounds.

"If the bad guy thinks somebody's in this room with a weapon, that's going to be pointed at him with live bullets, he's not even going into the school. It's the one way you're going to solve it," he said referring to school shootings. "You're not going to solve it with gun-free spaces."

The president recommended former military officers or teachers who have "great ability" handling firearms would be best suited to defend schools because they "love the children."

The White House said President Trump will be sending Congress a package of school and gun safety proposals and plans to meet with lawmakers at the White House next week.

Trump announced the proposal to arm teachers during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Committee on Friday. The position is supported by the National Rifle Association.

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