In recent days, President Donald Trump has said on several occasions that he would be open to the idea of a move to expand background checks for the purchase of firearms, telling reporters Wednesday before left for Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, that left 31 people dead there “was great appetite for background checks.”
But the National Rifle Association (NRA) is warning Trump that if he goes forward and supports legislation expanding background checks, it will anger his supporters, according to the Washington Post:
NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre spoke with Trump on Tuesday after the president expressed support for a background check bill and told him it would not be popular among Trump’s supporters, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss internal talks. LaPierre also argued against the bill’s merits, the officials said.
So while Trump may want to appear concerned and respond after the recent mass shootings, he and his GOP allies in Congress may not be able to do anything because they fear the gun lobby:
Advisers to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he would not bring any gun-control legislation to the floor without widespread Republican support. Trump has waffled, current and past White House officials say, between wanting to do more and growing concerned that doing so could prompt a revolt from his political base. Even some supporters of the Manchin-Toomey bill, which would expand background checks to nearly all firearm sales, say it is unlikely to pass.
Trump has also floated the idea of an executive order dealing with gun control, if only because it would give him the opportunity to have a signing ceremony in the Rose Garden to provide the illusion that he cares about the issue of gun violence.
The idea of expanding background checks for gun purchases has widespread support among the public, with recent polls showing that 9 in 10 Americans support requiring background checks for all gun purchases. That includes 8 in 10 Republicans and independents.
It remains to be seen if Trump does anything, especially with his reelection already uncertain and his unwillingness to buck the NRA, which was instrumental in his election three years ago.
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