Trump testing GOP appetite for background checks

Axios Politics 2 months ago

President Donald Trump may still be thinking about supporting expanded background checks for gun sales after all.

Driving the news: A memo titled "Idea for New Unlicensed-Commercial-Sale Background Checks" was being circulated as Attorney General Bill Barr and the White House's legislative affairs director Eric Ueland visited this week with Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Why it matters: The president was expected to say this week what if any gun-control legislation he is prepared to support. Advocates were doubtful he would support expanded background checks because of polling suggested it could hurt his standing with core supporters.

The memo, first reported by the Daily Caller and also obtained by Axios, suggests he may be open to background checks depending on feedback from Republican lawmakers.

  • The memo talks about extending a background-check requirement "to all advertised commercial sales, including sales at gun shows."
  • It would be consistent with the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey draft legislation.
  • It would impose civil penalties for failure to keep necessary records.

Where it stands: The president has not said publicly whether he supports the proposal in the memo or is just shopping it.

Read the memo.

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