‘Get to the bottom of this:’ House Speaker Paul Ryan talks gun reform during Waukesha visit

WAUKESHA -- House Speaker Paul Ryan was in Waukesha Saturday evening, February 24th, talking about gun reform for the first time since the deadly shooting in Florida.

Addressing a group of 300 people at the Waukesha County Republican Party's 68th annual Lincoln Day Dinner, Speaker Ryan advocated for preventative measures like tighter background checks on gun sales and more action when there are warning signs an act of violence could occur.

House Speaker Paul Ryan

"It's important that we get to the bottom of this and that we fix this while preserving citizens' rights," said Ryan.

Democrats are calling for sweeping changes to the country's gun laws.

President Donald trump said this week, he supports increasing the minimum age for buying certain rifles and arming teachers in schools. At Saturday's event, Ryan said the Florida gunman slipped through too many cracks and referenced legislation that closes loopholes in the FBI's background check system.

"We have to make sure that when law enforcement gets all these tips, that that doesn't happen again. We have to make sure that people who are mentally unstable, and we just passed a recent law on this, don't have the ability to go do this," said Ryan.

House Speaker Paul Ryan

The Republican congressman for Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District is up for re-election this year. While he hasn't officially announced whether or not he's running, Ryan focused the rest of the evening on drumming up support for GOP candidates ahead of the 2018 midterm election by reflecting on 2017's accomplishments.

"The economy is growing. Jobs are being created. We're getting out of the doldrums we were in. So what do we do now? We keep going," Ryan said.

Ryan did not take reporter's questions. Attorney General Brad Schimel and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch were also at the event.