President Trump said Friday that he has spoken in recent days to NRA representatives to ensure that the group’s positions are “fully represented” in the upcoming negotiations over how to respond to the mass shootings that took place over the weekend.
….mentally ill or deranged people. I am the biggest Second Amendment person there is, but we all must work together for the good and safety of our Country. Common sense things can be done that are good for everyone!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2019
House speaker Nancy Pelosi urged President Trump on Thursday to call the Senate back from its August recess to pass universal-background-check legislation in response to the pair of mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas that together claimed 31 lives over the weekend.
“This extraordinary moment in our history requires all of us to take extraordinary action to save lives,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to the president.
The Democrat-controlled House passed universal-background-check legislation earlier this year, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has staunchly refused to give the bill a vote in the Senate. Republicans have instead focused on advocating for red-flag legislation, which empowers the authorities to temporarily disarm gun owners reported to be a threat by family members or employers.
Trump, however, suggested he might get behind universal-background-check legislation of some kind while speaking to reporters outside the White House on Wednesday.
“There is a great appetite, and I mean a very strong appetite, for background checks. And I think we can bring up background checks like we’ve never had before,” Trump said. “I think both Republican[s] and Democrat[s] are getting close to a bill on — to doing something with background checks.”
McConnell, who has refused to take up the House-bassed background-check bill for months, conceded during a Thursday radio interview that the bill would be “front and center” in the upcoming debates and may be considered alongside the Republicans’ preferred red-flag legislation. But embattled NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre cautioned Trump that supporting the background-check bill would alienate his base, according to the Washington Post.