Is Trump headed for a post-shooting gun control fight with the NRA?

· August 9, 2019  
    Font Size A A A
Trump at NRA meeting
Scott Olson | Getty Images

President Donald Trump talked up the prospect of new background check legislation Friday morning but still says that he wants gun rights groups like the NRA to have a say.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House, the president said that “we need intelligent background checks,” and that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is “totally on board” with the issue. Two days earlier, Trump discussed the potential to “bring up background checks like we’ve never had before.

The day before, McConnell said on a Kentucky radio program that gun control will be “one of the front and center issues” when the Senate comes back to Washington from summer break in September. “What we can’t do is fail to pass something,” the senator also said. “The urgency of this is not lost on any of us.”

However, Trump also said in a tweet earlier that morning that he wants to make sure to get input from gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association.

“Serious discussions are taking place between House and Senate leadership on meaningful Background Checks,” the president tweeted. “I have also been speaking to the NRA, and others, so that their very strong views can be fully represented and respected.”

Trump later said, “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!”

The NRA, however, came out against new background check laws the day before, noting more background checks wouldn’t have prevented either suspect in the recent Dayton and El Paso shootings from obtaining firearms.

“It is not enough anymore to simply say that ‘we need more background checks,'” a statement from the group said. “Considering both suspects in El Paso and Dayton passed them, that is rhetoric for billionaire activists and campaign rallies – not a call for constructive progress.”

There is currently zero evidence that more expansive background checks laws would have done anything to prevent either of the weekend’s mass murders.

The statement touched on “red flag” confiscation laws that have been discussed in the wake of the shootings, saying that “there needs to be real evidence of danger – and we cannot sacrifice anyone’s constitutional rights without due process.”

While he was not inclined to talk about discussions with Trump or other political leaders about current proposals, NRA head Wayne LaPierre made it clear in a Thursday statement that “the NRA opposes any legislation that unfairly infringes upon the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

LaPierre added that while current proposals wouldn’t have prevented the massacres in El Paso and Dayton, “they would make millions of law abiding Americans less safe and less able to defend themselves and their loved ones.”


Want to keep up with what’s going on in Washington without the liberal media slant, establishment spin, and politician-ese?

Sign up to get Blaze Media’s Capitol Hill Brief in your inbox every morning! It’s free!

* indicates required


Author: Nate Madden

Nate Madden is BlazeTV’s congressional correspondent. Follow him @NateOnTheHill or send tips to nmadden@blazemedia.com.