In the wake of August’s mass shootings, Democrats in Congress are demanding strict legislative action on gun control that would infringe upon the Second Amendment, while President Donald Trump and Republicans have indicated an openness to consider more limited action.
But while the president has signaled a willingness to take some action on gun control, it has become clear that whatever he ends up supporting will not be the partisan gun control legislation passed earlier in the year by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, specifically the universal background check bill.
No to universal background checks
Politico reported that an unnamed source “familiar with the conversation” going on in the White House said that President Trump would not consider the House-passed universal background check bill, known as H.R.8, as part of a broader package of gun control measures that were being considered.
The report is not unexpected — Trump had previously threatened to veto the bill if it was taken up and passed by the Senate.
What Trump is reportedly still open to considering is a more limited piece of legislation that would be largely focused on strengthening enforcement and closing “loopholes” within the existing background check system rather than expanding it beyond its current scope.
The news that Trump will refuse to consider the House-passed universal background check bill comes in the wake of yet another demand by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for him to do just that. The Democrat leaders reportedly asserted that anything less than a universal background check bill “will not get the job done.”
“We’re certainly willing to discuss the finer points of legislation with our Republican colleagues, but we made one thing clear to the president — the effectiveness of gun safety measures will be severely compromised if we allow the loopholes in our background check system to remain intact,” Schumer said recently in a speech on the Senate floor.
In the view of top Senate Republicans, however, the Democrats are just attempting to score political points with their base by pushing for strict gun control measures that they know won’t be supported by Republicans or signed into law by the president.
“The things that they are proposing just aren’t realistic and they know that and so it’s designed more to talk to their political base and it’s a lot more about that than I think an actual solution,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune of South Dakota said.
Trump has reportedly been meeting with his team in the White House to discuss certain proposals to address gun violence and mass shootings, such as strengthening the existing background check system or a version of “red flag” laws that would allow for the temporary confiscation of firearms from individuals deemed to pose a threat to themselves or others.
It is expected that the White House will soon announce what sort of measures the president would support if passed by Congress — an announcement for which many Republicans have been waiting before taking action themselves.
As usual, Democrats are attempting to overreach on gun control with tight restrictions that would infringe upon the natural rights of law-abiding citizens. President Trump, however, is unwilling to do that and has made it clear that he will not be supporting the highly partisan, anti-Second Amendment proposals put forward by the left.