Perhaps moved by last week’s mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, or persuaded by the Mar-a-Lago remoras who pay $200,000 in annual dues to affix themselves to the Commander-in-Chief, President Trump has decided that he is now willing to throw his support behind a modest bill that would strengthen the federal background check process to purchase firearms.
“The President spoke to Senator Cornyn on Friday about the bi-partisan bill he and Sen. Murphy introduced to improve Federal Compliance with Criminal Background check Legislation,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told a pool reporter in Florida early on Monday, referring to the Fix NICS bill, sponsored by the Republican Senator from Texas John Cornyn, and Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat.
“While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system,” she added.
The bill would ensure that crimes of domestic violence are added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and provides grants and penalties to encourage states to comply with the system’s requirements for collecting records. It does nothing to require background checks from all gun sellers.
Interesting morning. Two quick thoughts: 1/ Trump’s support for the FixNICS Act, my bill with @JohnCornyn, is another sign the politics of gun violence are shifting rapidly. 2/ No one should pretend this bill alone is an adequate response to this epidemic.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 19, 2018
An NRA spokesperson told NBC in November that they wouldn’t oppose the bill. In December, NRA-supported Congressional lawmakers attempted to attach NICS reforms to a bill that would allow gun owners with concealed carry permits from states with lenient gun laws to circumvent tougher concealed carry laws in other states.
The NRA has not yet responded to our request for comment on the White House’s statement.
Meanwhile, the executive branch has their best and brightest considering the issue. According to CNN, this weekend President Trump discussed gun control with both Giraldo Rivera and Trump’s two adult sons.
During dinner on Saturday night on the Mar-a-Lago patio, Trump heard from television host Geraldo Rivera on the issue, according to a person familiar with their conversation. Rivera floated the notion of raising the legal age of purchase for military-style rifles such as the AR-15 from 18 to 21 — a step that could have prevented the Parkland shooter from obtaining his murder weapon.
Rivera’s views on the issue were contrasted by another dinner guest, Donald Trump Jr., an avowed gun rights supporter who accompanied his father to this year’s NRA annual conference in Atlanta. The men, along with Eric Trump, had an animated conversation on the issue, a person familiar with the situation said. The group also discussed ideas to heighten security inside schools.