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NRA: Trump Administration’s Background-Check Proposal a ‘Non-Starter’

A man inspects a handgun at the National Rifle Association annual meeting in Indianapolis, Ind., April 28, 2019. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

The National Rifle Association on Wednesday called the the Trump administration’s proposal to expand background checks for gun buyers a “non-starter.”

“This missive is a non-starter with the NRA and our 5 million members because it burdens law-abiding gun owners while ignoring what actually matters: fixing the broken mental health system and the prosecution of violent criminals,” said the executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, Jason Ouimet, in a statement.

The proposal, drafted in part by Attorney General William Barr, would expand background checks to all commercial sales, including purchases at gun shows. The plan is similar to one proposed by Republican senator Pat Toomey and Democratic senator Joe Manchin, which has previously failed in the Senate.

“We are going to wait and see what the final one is,” Manchin said. “Republicans are still engaged in talking and that is very hopeful for me.”

President Trump has not yet personally endorsed any new gun-control plan, but is expected to announce which measures he supports to combat gun violence soon. Democrats have upped the pressure on the White House to include the universal-background-check bill passed by the House in any proposal he endorses.

“This morning, we made it clear to the president that any proposal he endorses that does not include the House-passed universal background checks legislation will not get the job done, as dangerous loopholes will still exist and people who shouldn’t have guns will still have access,” House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator minority leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday.

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