Following the mass shootings in Ohio and Texas, President Trump seemed to be moving closer to supporting universal background checks. Trump even went so far as to tweet, “Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform.”
Yet, that all changed after Trump had a conversation with the chief executive of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre. According to The Atlantic, Trump allegedly asked LaPierre if the NRA could bend at all on background checks.
LaPierre answered unambiguously. “No,” he said.
Today, Trump apparently had another phone call with LaPierre and told him that there would be no universal background check legislation.
“He was cementing his stance that we already have background checks and that he’s not waffling on this anymore,” a source briefed on the call said. “He doesn’t want to pursue it.”
In the call, Trump added that he would instead focus on “increasing funding” for mental-health care. During a rally last Thursday, Trump told the crowd in New Hampshire that gun violence was primarily a “mental-illness problem” and “it’s not the gun that pulls the trigger; it is the person holding the gun.”
The NRA clearly yields enormous influence over the Republican Party, the White House, and the President.
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said that any regulations by the White House would be retaliated against.
“To those who know our members and understand the issue, they realize that if they support any ban, registration scheme, or other draconian gun-control measures, our members will demand accountability,” he said. “And our members have long memories.”
Read the full story here.