Trump Sends Mixed Signals on Gun Control

The president hints that he may back a wide range of measures, but it is not clear exactly which ones. He meets with National Rifle Association leaders, who claim that he and Vice President Pence “don’t want gun control.”

A day after President Trump called for a sweeping overhaul of U.S. gun policy, lawmakers from both parties appeared divided on what they would support, with some pitching their own plans and others calling for Trump to keep up the public pressure. Trump made waves in the gun debate by backing some approaches backed by Democrats and others embraced by Republicans, the Wall Street Journal reports. “The president’s going to have to narrow his list of issues he would like to see addressed and figure out what’s realistic,” said Sen. John Thune (R-SD). Lawmakers stressed the importance of Trump’s involvement in getting anything done in Congress. “This is about the president. He’s the only person that can make this happen,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVA). Trump backed a proposal by Manchin and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) to expand background checks to all sales online and at gun shows. The bill failed in 2013.

Trump appeared to back new age limits on gun purchases and dashed conservative hopes that he would support a “reciprocity” rule that would allow gun owners who legally carry concealed firearms in one state to carry them in the other 49 states. Amid questions about whether he would push polices the National Rifle Association opposes, the president sat down with the group on Thursday night. The NRA’s Chris Cox tweeted it was a “great meeting.” Cox said Trump and Vice President Mike Pence “support the Second Amendment, support strong due process and don’t want gun control.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made a three-part proposal that would expand background checks to online and gun shows sales, allow for protective orders to “temporarily disarm individuals” who have shown credible signs of “being a harm to themselves or others,” and allow for a Senate debate on banning “assault weapons.”