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White House, DOJ Reps Meet with Top Republicans on Expanding Background Checks for Gun Sales

Senator Joe Manchin (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Representatives from the White House and the Department of Justice met Tuesday with senior Republicans to discuss expanding background checks for the sale of firearms within the parameters of legislation first introduced by Senators Joe Manchin (D., W.V.) and Pat Toomey (R., Pa.).

The relevant legislation seeks to expand background-check requirements to include “all advertised commercial sales, including sales at gun shows,” according to an idea sheet first obtained by The Daily Caller.

Such background checks would be conducted “either through an FFL [Federal Firearm Licensee] or through a newly-created class of licensed transfer agents.”

White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said that President Trump did not necessarily approve of the plan, despite the fact that White House Director of Legislative Affairs Eric Ueland is among those circulating the idea sheet.

The Tuesday meetings were attended by Ueland as well as Attorney General Bill Barr. Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina were also present. There was a planned meeting between Barr and Utah senator Mike Lee, but Barr canceled the meeting.

The Manchin-Toomey bill failed to pass last April after it didn’t muster enough votes to survive a filibuster. The bill has remained a moderate alternative to more sweeping legislation that would mandate background checks on any and all gun sales. It would require background checks for any commercial sales at gun shows as well as over the Internet. It also expressly prohibits the formation of a national gun registry.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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