A Trump administration memo titled “Idea for New Unlicensed-Commercial-Sale Background Checks” has been leaked to the press.
As Axios pointed out, the document calls for light gun control measures, including extending background checks to “all advertised commercial sales, including sales at gun shows.”
If enacted, the new measure would close the so-called gun show loophole, in consistency with the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey draft legislation.
President Donald Trump has not endorsed the plan yet, and White House spokesman Hogan Gidley clarified that the memo is “not a White House document.”
Trump allies have expressed concern about the initiative, which suggests that the commander-in-chief is indeed open to gun control, arguing that it could alienate some of his most fervent supporters.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is not happy with the signal either.
In a statement supplied to The Hill, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action Jason Ouimet described the suggestion as a “non-starter,” stating that policymakers should instead focus on prosecuting “violent criminals” and improving the mental health system in the United States.
“This missive is a non-starter with the NRA and our 5 million members because it burdens law-abiding gun owners while ignoring what actually matters: fixing the broken mental health system and the prosecution of violent criminals.”
Republicans in Congress appear hesitant to embrace the idea, with many being silent on the issue, seemingly waiting for the president’s explicit endorsement of the proposal.
Some have already expressed opposition to the suggested legislation, however. Texas Senator Ted Cruz argued against the proposal, suggesting that a policy authored by himself and fellow Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa would be a better solution.
Trump is yet to publicly comment on the memo, but in one of his most recent Twitter messages, he appeared to signal a willingness to make a deal with the Democrats.
In a tweet, the commander-in-chief blasted “Dummy” Beto O’Rourke, writing that the presidential candidate had made it more difficult to strike a deal with the opposition party by vocally calling for more aggressive gun control measures.
Dummy Beto made it much harder to make a deal. Convinced many that Dems just want to take your guns away. Will continue forward! https://t.co/87jvaYUkyn— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 18, 2019
As Fortune pointed out, the NRA has been a tremendous source of campaign contributions for Trump and other Republicans. In 2016, the organization spent $54 million on GOP campaigns, $30 million of which was spent on behalf of the Trump campaign.
The president has been sending mixed signals on gun control.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Trump keeps flip-flopping on the issue of background checks, alternating between supporting such measures and aggressively opposing them; going between promising background checks “like never before,” and arguing that “strong” legislation is already in place.