Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and some vulnerable GOP lawmakers signaled Wednesday that they are open to changing the nation’s gun laws, raising the possibility that the political tide might be shifting on an issue that has sharply divided Americans for years, says the Washington Post. This isn’t the first time a mass shooting, in this case the massacre in Orlando that killed 49 people this week, has sparked a national cry for congressional action on gun availability. In past instances, such calls to action have been followed by intense pressure campaigns from gun rights supporters urging lawmakers to focus elsewhere.
But the debate launched this week could be different, mostly because of Trump. And it could further divide Republicans, many of whom were already distancing themselves from the presumptive nominee’s anti-Muslim rhetoric in the wake of Orlando. Trump’s renewed focus on gun laws goes against GOP orthodoxy, which generally considers Second Amendment issues to be settled. Trump’s attention to the issue has the potential to strain lawmakers in tough reelection battles, including those from moderate swing states with constituents who favor tougher gun laws.