President Donald Trump said on Friday, Aug. 10, he’s confident to make meaningful background checks legislation that would keep weapons away from dangerous individuals.
“I think we can get something really good done. I think we can have some really meaningful background checks. We don’t want people that are mentally ill, people that are sick—we don’t want them having guns,” the president said.
The background checks will include “‘red flags’ protection order” laws proposed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in order to make it easier for law enforcement to identify mentally ill people who should be banned from purchasing guns.
Skeptics have already cast doubt on the odds of passing the measures but the president expressed confidence in the possibility of a deal, saying, “I think that the Republicans are going to be great and lead the charge along with the Democrats.”
President Trump said, “We have tremendous support for really common-sense, sensible, important background checks” while mentioning he a “had great talk” with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer and “hard-line on the Second Amendment” senators.
Democrats and others have been skeptical of the president’s commitment, judging from past experience of a shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. But he said, “We did do things after Parkland, but it wasn’t to the same level that I’m talking about now,” and “We have now a chance to do something, really, much more meaningful.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), whom the president proclaimed to be “totally onboard,” has only committed to a discussion of the issue. Republicans who have long opposed expanding background checks, which was passed by the Democratic-led House and is stalled in McConnell’s Senate, now face more pressure after the back-to-back shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
As for the NRA, the CEO Wayne LaPierre on Thursday dismissed the proposals as “sound bite solutions” that “would make millions of law-abiding Americans less safe and less able to defend themselves and their loved ones,” according to The Associated Press.
But President Trump said he’d spoken with LaPierre this week and “I think in the end, Wayne and the NRA will either be there or either be a little more neutral.”
President Trump said there was no need to call Congress back, instead he will work with the leaders to make a “good package by the time they come back and they can start debating and voting on it then.”
McConnell told a Kentucky radio station that he has talked with the president who, he said, is “anxious to get an outcome and so am I.”