Trump: ‘Serious Discussions’ Taking Place in Congress on ‘Meaningful’ Background Checks

August 9, 2019 Updated: August 9, 2019

President Donald Trump said on Aug. 9 that “serious discussions” are taking place in Congress on “meaningful” background checks.

“Serious discussions are taking place between House and Senate leadership on meaningful Background Checks. I have also been speaking to the NRA, and others, so that their very strong views can be fully represented and respected,” Trump said on Twitter.

The NRA (National Rifle Association) issued a statement on Thursday condemning Democratic presidential candidates for politicizing the recent mass shootings and dismissing any background check proposals.

“The vast majority of gun sales, including internet and gun show sales, are already subject to background checks. In fact, none of the current background-check proposals would have prevented these tragedies,” it said.

Trump reiterated that he believes guns should be kept away from mentally unstable people, a theme he’s repeated multiple times this week.

He then said he supports the Second Amendment but feels some kind of action should be taken following the shootings.

“I am the biggest Second Amendment person there is, but we all must work together for the good and safety of our Country. Common sense things can be done that are good for everyone!” he wrote.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Thursday that laws that would expand background checks and so-called “red flag” proposals will be considered by the legislative body after its August recess.

“Those are two items that for sure will be front and center as we see what we can come together on and pass,” McConnell told WHAS, referring to a bill proposed by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and referencing one on red flags being put together by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrive for the Senate Republican policy lunch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on May 15, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

“The urgency on this is not lost on any of us because we’ve seen entirely too many of these outrageous acts by these mentally deranged people,” he added. “What we can’t do, is fail to pass something. By just locking up, and failing to pass, that’s unacceptable.”

He said he would not end the recess and that the time away from Washington for some lawmakers can be used to speak with each other, and have staff members work on the issue, and get a bill ready to pass.

“If we did that we’d just have people scoring points and nothing would happen. There has to be a bipartisan discussion here of what we can agree on. If we do it prematurely, it will just be another frustrating experience for all of us and for the public, where people are trying to score political points and not trying to get an outcome,” he said.

McConnell said that he spoke with Trump on Thursday morning and that “he’s anxious to get an outcome.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a letter to Trump on Thursday that she supports expanded background checks, making them mandatory for guns sold at gun shows, online, and through person-to-person sales.

“Commonsense background checks are supported by more than 90 percent of the American people and are proven to save lives,” she wrote.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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