Trump Administration Reportedly Considering Supporting App For Firearm Sales Background Checks

Critics of the background check app cite privacy concerns and that it could act as a possible gun registry.

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters following his meeting with Jack Ma.
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Critics of the background check app cite privacy concerns and that it could act as a possible gun registry.

On the heels of a string of deadly mass shootings across America that once again reignited the gun control debate, President Donald Trump and his administration have faced intense pressure to take some kind of meaningful action to help mitigate future incidents.

According to The Hill, one of those measures may focus on the private sale of firearms and involve the use of mobile technology in the form of an app that would connect to the National Instant Criminal Background Checks system, allowing private sellers to conduct a background check as part of a private sale. Three senators and other officials reportedly told The Washington Post about the idea.

While state requirements vary, there are currently no federal requirements for the buyer of a privately sold gun to be run through a background check.

While the idea may sound good to many on the surface, there are plenty of pro-gun rights politicians and aides who are worried about potential privacy issues that a background check app could raise.

Senate Majority Whip John Thune said he was told about the app by an official in the White House and expressed concern that such an app would amount to a “de facto” gun registry and possibly expose protected information about gun owners.

“It’s fraught with a lot of issues when it comes to some of the Second Amendment concerns,” Thune said of the app idea.

On the other side of the issue, Kris Brown, president of gun violence prevention group Brady, said he would rather the U.S. Senate come together to pass a previously House-passed bill that would not only bolster background checks in the retail environment but also for private gun sales.

“This proposal reveals one important fact from the White House: they recognize the problem of the private sale loophole that allows 20 percent of guns to be sold with no background check at all…. We agree the private sale loophole must be fixed, but it should be fixed in a way that allows meaningful enforcement, not easy circumvention that endangers lives,” Brown said.

AR-15 rifles are on display during the Nation's Gun Show.
  Alex Wong / Getty Images

The gun control issue took center stage during the third Democratic presidential debate. As reported by The Inquisitr, former Texas lawmaker Beto O’Rourke made headlines when he announced he would confiscate AR-15s should he win the presidency.

“Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” O’Rourke said in response to a moderator’s question, drawing a loud applause from the debate audience.

As The Hill reported, Trump has recently met with Democrats on the issue of gun safety, including Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Chris Murphy.