Trump Administration Rejects Universal Background Checks

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Trump Administration Rejects Universal Background Checks
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Trump Administration Rejects Universal Background Checks
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According to a recent article in The Atlantic, President Trump has distanced himself from universal background checks following a phone call with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre. Earlier this week, the NRA confirmed the conversation via their Twitter account. The president had previously suggested an expansion of background checks following two recent mass shootings.

“Frankly, we need intelligent background checks,” President Trump said in the immediate aftermath of the tragedies. “We don’t want people that are mentally ill, people that are sick — we don’t want them having guns.”

Many had assumed President Trump was referencing universal background checks for gun purchases, frequently advocated by Democrats.  In most of the United States, private transfers of firearms do not require a background check. For example, when someone sells or gifts a gun to a family member or friend.

Last Sunday, President Trump clarified his comments on background checks. He blamed mass shootings on the country’s “big” mental health issues, saying the US already has “very, very strong background checks.” Federal background checks are required across the United States when purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer.

“A lot of the people that put me where I am are strong believers in the Second Amendment,” President Trump recently told reporters. He went on to warn of the risk of a “slipper slope” when it comes to gun legislation.

According to the Washington Post, the NRA’s LaPierre warned President Trump earlier this month that advocating for tougher background checks would be extremely unpopular among his supporters. In 2018, the Trump administration banned bump stocks following a mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people. In March, the Supreme Court declined to block the implementation of the ban.

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