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We need a firmer position from Trump to get 'weapons of war' off the street: Rep. Tim Ryan

  • President Donald Trump isn't doing enough to tackle the gun issue facing the country, says Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio.
  • Assault weapons are meant for war, not for kids, he says.
  • On Friday, Trump repeated his calls for improved background checks, eliminating bump stocks and arming some teachers.

President Donald Trump isn't doing enough to tackle the gun issue facing the country, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, told CNBC on Friday.

In a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday, Trump repeated his calls for improved background checks, eliminating bump stocks and arming some teachers.

"The president came up short. We need a firmer position from him. We have to get these weapons of war off the street," said Ryan, referring to assault weapons like the AR-15 used in the recent mass shooting at a Florida high school.

"They are meant for war. They are not meant for kids to get or citizens in the country to have," he told "Power Lunch."

Ryan also called for a universal background check, including for people at gun shows and those buying weapons through personal sales.

"We have to close those loopholes up," he said.

Bipartisan senators have put forward a narrow bill to improve the existing background check system, which Trump has said he supports.

"We'll be putting in strong language having to do with the background checks and that will take place very quickly. I spoke with Paul Ryan this morning, with Mitch McConnell and people are looking to really energize," Trump said during Friday's news conference.

He also once again repeated his call to allow some teachers to carry guns, saying the problem won't be solved with "gun-free spaces."

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

"I'm not talking about every teacher. I'm talking about a small percentage but people that have great ability with weaponry, with guns," he added.

Meanwhile, the Australian prime minister did not weigh in with advice for the U.S. The country has strict gun control laws, which were implemented more than 20 years ago after a mass shooting. The country has had no such incidents since.

Turnbull said he was "very satisfied" with Australia's laws but said, "We certainly don't presume to provide policy or political advice on that matter here."

"You have a very, very different history. We'll focus on our own political arguments and debates and wish you wise deliberation in your own," Turnbull said.

— CNBC's Jacob Pramuk and Reuters contributed to this report.