President Trump Shifts Away from Background Check Push

Mark O'Connor fills out his Federal background check paperwork as he purchases a handgun at the K&W Gunworks store on the day that U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, DC announced his executive action on guns on January 5, 2016 in Delray Beach, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Trump appears to be shifting away from the background check push he undertook in the immediate aftermath of the attacks in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

On August 5, 2019, Trump floated the idea of “strong background checks,” saying, “Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform. We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!”

On August 7, 2019, the Associated Press quoted Trump saying: “There’s a great appetite, and I mean a very strong appetite, for background checks. And I think we can bring up background checks like we’ve never had before.”

But Politico reports that over the weekend Trump appeared to back off his background checks push. A reporter asked him about the gun control push and Trump said, “I’m not saying anything. I’m saying Congress is going to be reporting back to me with ideas. And they’ll come in from Democrats and Republicans. And I’ll look at it very strongly. But just remember, we already have a lot of background checks.”

Trump also said, “I don’t want people to forget that this is a mental health problem. I don’t want them to forget that, because it is. It’s a mental health problem.”

During an August 15, 2019, “Keep America Great” rally in New Hampshire, Trump said, “It’s not the gun that pulls the trigger.”

He added: “We can’t make it harder for good, solid, law-abiding citizens to protect themselves. We will always uphold the right to self-defense, and we will always uphold the Second Amendment. We will.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

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