NRA Warns Trump: Stay Away from Gun Background Checks

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly told lawmakers and aides in private conversations that he is open to endorsing extensive background checks after two mass shootings, prompting a warning from the National Rifle Association, the Washington Post reports. Trump said there “was great appetite for background checks” amid an outcry over government inaction after repeated mass shootings. Trump’s previous declarations of support for tougher gun controls have foundered without a sustained push from the president. NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre spoke with Trump this week and told him it would not be popular among Trump’s supporters. LaPierre also argued against the bill’s merits. The legislation is sponsored by Sens. Patrick Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WVA).

Advisers to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he would not bring gun-control legislation to the floor without widespread Republican support. Trump has waffled between wanting to do more and fearing that doing so could prompt a revolt from his political base. Even some supporters of the Manchin-Toomey bill, which would expand background checks to nearly all firearm sales, say it is unlikely to pass. Trump also asked lawyers about what he could enact through an executive order. “He seems determined to do something and believes there is space to get something done this time around,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who said he had spoken to Trump “four or five times” since the shootings. In another controversy surround the NRA, the Post reported that LaPierre sought to have the NRA buy him a $6 million mansion in a gated Dallas-area golf club after the Parkland, Fl., shooting in which 17 students and school staff members were killed.

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