President Trump, true Trump fashion, actually tweeted about it: “Good (Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA!”
Trump met with Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. Neither party has mentioned details of the meeting, although Cox gave a bit of insight on topics discussed. About two hours after Trump’s tweet, Cox sent his own tweet, also agreeing that the meeting was very productive. Cox stated that safe schools and mental health reform were two of the topics discussed. Cox also stated that the main goal of the meeting was to “keep guns away from dangerous people”.
Cox reiterated that both Trump and VP Mike Pence support the Second Amendment, and therefore don’t want gun control.
Trump still seems to be in favor of stronger background checks, particularly when guns are sold between private parties.
Trump also seemed to support a ban on firearm ownership for anyone under the age of 21 and further restrictions on semiautomatic rifles.
Also mentioned were further restrictions in known cases of domestic-violence presence, and taking guns away from certain people like those with mental illnesses.
Democratic leaders were initially excited that Trump seemed to support their new gun control bill known as Fix NICS, but now they seem doubtful about what Trump will support after the NRA meeting.
At this point, no one in Congress can be sure as to what the president will or will not support. Trump greatly criticized Congress last week for not acting sooner on gun control. He commented that lawmakers were petrified of the NRA because they held so much special interest group power over Congress. Trump also commented that the NRA did not have the same control over the presidency.
Did Trump do a U-turn on gun control?
Dems are accusing Trump of “agreeing with the last thing that was said to him”. They’re also criticizing Trump for meeting secretly with the NRA since the meeting was not on his public schedule.
But press secretary Sarah Sanders says Trump still supports the Second Amendment—that has not changed.
Sanders says that Trump is still advocating a minimum federal age of 21 to buy long guns. Evidently, Trump does support modest changes to improve the federal background check system.
The president also wants to see better coordination between local, state, and federal agencies to share incriminating information they have on individuals so that better checks can be done on gun store purchases.
A recent example of the ineptness involved the Sutherland Springs, Texas church shooting, where the military failed to share the shooter’s dishonorable discharge and domestic violence history with civilian agencies, which might have prevented that Sunday massacre.
President Trump is once again encouraging Congress to just do their job. Sanders said, “we’ll see what the legislation looks like” when it comes to other gun control measures.
Apparently, the NRA opposes the age limit of 21, but Trump is standing firm. Sanders did hint though that Trump might change his mind when it comes to the age limit, saying there’s “not a lot of broad support” for the idea, and that perhaps the issue is better dealt with state to state.
The NRA continues to experience a backlash as many of their prime business partners continue to cut ties. Both United and Delta Airlines cut ties, as did mega-insurance company Met Life and car rental company Hertz. Even Silicon Valley is joining in—Symantec, the software company that created Norton Antivirus—cut ties.
Even longtime supporters like First National Bank of Omaha ended their joint Visa credit card program with the NRA. Hotel chains like Best Western and Wyndham cut ties too. Many companies are taking to social media to let consumers know that they’ve either ended their NRA affiliations or they never were affiliated with the NRA, to begin with.
The NRA was continually rebuffed at Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony. This is the worst backlash the NRA has seen in any recent shooting, including Las Vegas and Sandy Hook.