Monday, September 16, 2019

Democrats Press Trump to Back House Bill on Background Checks

Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
President has focused on keeping guns from people with mental-health issues or criminal records
Democratic leaders urged President Trump to support a House-passed background check bill, as lawmakers wait to see what measures the White House will endorse to reduce mass shootings.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York spoke with the president Sunday morning by phone at their request. They said they sought his support for background check legislation passed earlier this year by the Democratic-led House, arguing that any plan that doesn’t include the bill, called H.R. 8, “will not get the job done.”
Their message came as the White House is working on a series of policy proposals to respond to mass shootings that have left dozens dead in recent weeks in Ohio and Texas. Amid calls for more gun restrictions, the president has said he wants to take action but hasn’t indicated exactly what he will support. Republicans, for their part, have made clear that they need his clear backing to advance anything.
White House spokesman Judd Deere described the conversation as cordial, saying Mr. Trump “made no commitments on H.R. 8, but instead indicated his interest in working to find a bipartisan legislative solution on appropriate responses to the issue of mass gun violence.”
A person close to the White House efforts on gun policy said the president has ruled out supporting the House-backed bill, though he would like to see new gun restrictions on people with mental-health issues or a criminal record. White House aides and the president have been talking with lawmakers from both parties, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.), who have long urged legislation expanding background checks for gun sales.
Currently, federal law requires background checks only for sales by federally licensed dealers, though some states have added their own requirements.
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE.

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