Trump Reassures NRA, Says He Wants ‘Intelligent Background Checks’

Friday, August 9, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Joseph Curl
August 9, 2019

President Trump on Friday said he has assured the National Rifle Association that its views will be “fully represented and respected” as he called for “intelligent background checks.”

Speaking on the White House lawn before he departed for a couple fundraisers in New York, the president said he’s optimistic Congress will join him in strengthening checks.

“I see a better feeling right now toward getting something meaningful done,” Trump told reporters. “I have a greater influence now over the Senate and the House. I think we can get something really good done. I think we can have some meaningful background checks.”

Following two mass shootings over the weekend that left 32 dead and 57 wounded, Trump said the time is ripe to move. “Frankly, we need intelligent background checks,” Trump said. “This isn’t a question of NRA, Republican or Democrat.”

“The Republicans are going to be great and lead the charge along with the Democrats,” Trump said, adding that he had spoken with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and said he was “totally onboard.”

Trump, who has been hit by the NRA for pushing some new restrictions, also said he was optimistic that the NRA will not try to impede strengthening the nation’s gun laws. “I have a great relationship with the NRA,” he said. “They supported me very early and that’s been a great decision they made.”

The NRA’s chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, said earlier this week that some federal gun control proposals “would make millions of law-abiding Americans less safe and less able to defend themselves and their loved ones.”

Trump, though, said he had spoken with LaPierre this week and “I think in the end, Wayne and the NRA will either be there or either be a little more neutral.”

“Frankly, I really think they’re going to get there also,” he added.

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump assured them in phone calls Thursday he will review the House-passed bill that would expand federal background checks for firearm sales,” the Associated Press reported.

“In a joint statement, they said Trump called them individually after Pelosi sent a letter asking the president to order the Senate back to Washington to consider gun violence measures.

Schumer and Pelosi said they told Trump the best immediate step would be for the Senate to take up and pass the House bill. Trump, they said, “understood our interest in moving as quickly as possible to help save lives.”

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