Trump spoke with the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre on gun background checks
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump reversed himself on firearms restrictions Wednesday, saying he supports background checks one day after saying he didn’t want to go down the “slippery slope” of eroding gun owners’ rights.
Trump confirmed to reporters that he had discussed background checks with Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Association. But he disputed news reports that he had told LaPierre that background checks were off the table.
“I have an appetite for background checks,” Trump said from the White House South Lawn as he was departing for an event in Louisville. “We’re going to do be doing background checks… We’re going to be filling in some of the loopholes.”
Trump said he wants to get guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable and even said he considers mass shootings a public emergency.
“I want guns to be in the hands of people who are mentally stable,” he said.
On Tuesday, Trump had appeared to back away from supporting stricter gun measures, telling reporters that current laws were already “very strong.”
“We have very strong background checks right now,” he said.
Trump also emphasized his staunch support for the Second Amendment and said he wouldn’t want to go down the “slippery slope” of eroding the right to bear arms.
On Tuesday, according to media reports, Trump spoke on the phone with Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association (NRA), to assure him that the White House was not going to advocate for enhanced background checks.
The Atlantic first reported the details of the phone call, and it was later confirmed by the Washington Post and the New York Times.
According to the outlets, Trump told LaPierre that universal background checks for firearm purchases were no longer under consideration and that the White House would advocate for other measures around mental health or prosecuting federal gun crimes.
More: Donald Trump appears to back away from supporting stricter gun background checks
The NRA later confirmed that a call took place, posting a message on Twitter later Tuesday from LaPierre confirming that he spoke to the president Tuesday.
“We discussed the best ways to prevent these types of tragedies. @realDonaldTrump is a strong #2A President and supports our Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” wrote LaPierre through the official NRA account.
The NRA has vehemently opposed the imposition of stricter background checks for firearm purchases, but strife at the organization had given gun control advocates hope that stricter gun control measures could be passed over the group’s opposition.
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