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NRA Tells Trump To Cool It On Background Checks Talk

The National Rifle Association reacted swiftly toward President Donald Trump’s stated goals of instituting stronger background checks earlier this week, making direct pleas to the chief executive warning him that his base wouldn’t like the idea.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Washington Post reported that Wayne LaPierre personally reached out to Trump on Tuesday after he had spoken out about the idea of implementing stricter background checks. It’s unclear whether their words mattered to the president or not, as he reiterated such calls on Wednesday while speaking with reporters before departing for Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, where two mass shootings occurred over the past weekend.

Trump stated that he noticed a “great appetite for background checks” across the country.

“I think background checks are important. I don’t want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate,” Trump said.

In spite of the NRA’s assertion that Trump’s base of support might not like background checks, polling on the issue has demonstrated just the opposite to be true. Among Republican voters, 8 in 10 support background checks on gun sales, while 9 in 10 Americans overall support the idea, too.

Yet it’s not a sure thing that the president will end up endorsing the idea in the end either, and the measure would have to go through a divided Congress as well. The Senate, currently held by the Republican Party, would be the toughest obstacle in the way of passing a bill instilling stricter background checks.

Trump himself may be a complication, too. The president has held varying views on the issue before, sometimes supporting the idea and other times saying it wouldn’t do any good.

In 2018, after the Parkland, Florida, shooting at a high school in that city, Trump also called on implementing stronger background checks, promising a “very strong improvement and strengthening” of such checks in a tweet he wrote at the time, CBS News reported.

Yet nothing came about from that talk from Trump, and when a bill passed the Democratic-led House of Representatives earlier this year that addressed stronger background checks, the president promised he would veto it.



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