President Donald Trump appears ready to do something about gun availability in America after spending the weekend visiting survivors of last week’s deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Fla. and watching them on television.
The question is, will it be enough?
According to the White House, Trump is encouraging senators to restart a stalled bill that provides moderate background checks for gun purchases.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said:
“The President spoke to Senator Cornyn on Friday about the bi-partisan bill he [Cornyn] and Sen. Murphy introduced to improve Federal Compliance with Criminal Background check Legislation. While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system.”
Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) introduced the original bill last November after the Sutherland Springs, Texas church shooting. It would require federal agencies to report infractions like domestic violence to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), providing financial incentives for states to sign on.
Currently, millions of criminal records are missing from the database.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) supports the bill probably because it does not add any new background check requirements for gun purchases or close current loopholes.
Sen. Murphy tweeted in response to the president’s sudden interest:
“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.”
At the time Murphy and Cornyn introduced the bill, Trump was not interested, arguing instead stricter gun laws would have made the Sutherland Springs shooting more deadly.
Perhaps Trump is behind the bill because the NRA supports it. After all, according to Open Secrets, in 2016, the NRA handed more than $50 million to key Republican candidates, $30.3 million of which went to Trump.
Did your congressional representative accept blood money from the gun lobby? Here is something you can do.
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