It wasn’t by accident that two presidential actions — authorizing a crackdown on “bump stocks” and signaling support for a stronger background check system — are backed by the National Rifle Association. Now the question is what stance will the White House take on stronger gun-rights measures pending in Congress.
After a week of relative silence on guns after the deadly Florida school shooting, President Trump moved to take action on gun violence without antagonizing his pro-gun base, reports Politico. It wasn’t by accident that two moves — authorizing a crackdown on “bump stocks” and signaling support for a stronger background check system — are backed by the National Rifle Association. They would allow Trump, who spent much of the last weekend at Mar-a-Lago watching cable news coverage of the shooting’s aftermath, to say he’s taking action. Pacifying gun-control advocates without stirring up his core supporters will be a high-wire act for Trump. Even if he manages to pull it off — gun-control advocates will never be satisfied with the background checks bill the White House is getting behind — he’ll have to contend with Republicans in Congress who want to loosen gun control laws, not strengthen them. (Trump meets Wednesday with students, parents and teachers affected by mass shootings in Parkland, Fl., Newtown, Ct., and Colorado’s Columbine).
A House-passed bill pairs narrow background check changes with concealed-carry reciprocity legislation. The bill, a top NRA priority, would allow gun owners with concealed-carry permits in their home states to carry guns into states without them. Pro-gun conservatives are beating the same drum. Radio host Rush Limbaugh said on “Fox News Sunday” that “the solution is we need concealed carry in these schools.” As gun-control protests ramp up and Republicans dig in, where Trump will come down is an open question. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said he is open to a range of options, including an assault weapons ban and raising the minimum age for purchasing AR-15s. Trump has been all over the map on guns, endorsing an assault weapons ban in 2000 and winning the NRA’s highest rating in the presidential campaign.