With President Donald Trump seemingly ready to support modest gun control measures like  universal background checks, gun advocates are telling him that this would be a political disaster.

On Friday, Trump tweeted that the House and Senate are making progress in passing a bill on background checks, but also said that he has been talking to the National Rifle Association and wants to make sure their “very strong views” are “fully respected.”

The president has supported some gun control legislation such as a ban on bump stocks, but it is not clear how strong his support for background checks is.

Trump has previously said he would take on the NRA by passing the bump stock ban and seeking to raise the gun buying age from 18 to 21.

More recently, when two pieces of legislation were making their way through Congress, he claimed he would veto them. Both measures failed in the Senate. 

Trump has spoken to the NRA chief Wayne LaPierre twice in the past week. In a statement released on Thursday, he said he could not discuss what he and the president spoke about but said, “the NRA opposes any legislation that unfairly infringes upon the rights of law-abiding citizens. The inconvenient truth is this: the proposals being discussed by many would not have prevented the horrific tragedies in El Paso and Dayton. Worse, they would make millions of law abiding Americans less safe and less able to defend themselves and their loved ones.” 


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) also spoke about passing legislation with a Kentucky radio station earlier this week. He noted that there is a bipartisan bill on universal background checks and one on “Red Flag” laws that will be “front and center” when the Senate comes back in session after the August recess. Democrats have been pressuring McConnell to end the recess early to start this process, but he has refused. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) wrote a letter to Trump urging him to force the Senate to convene, so far to no avail. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Pelosi issued a joint statement saying they spoke to the President and he gave them his “assurances that he would review the bipartisan House-passed legislation and understood our interest in moving as quickly as possible to help save lives.”

Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) are now working on a bipartisan bill for background checks that was previously rejected by the Senate under the Obama administration. 

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