Murphy: Trump’s support for background check bill shows gun politics ‘shifting rapidly’

Murphy: Trump’s support for background check bill shows gun politics ‘shifting rapidly’
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: Trump, Erdogan confirm White House meeting | Public impeachment hearings set for next week | Top defense appropriator retiring Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Senate Democrat: Colleague was working on fantasy football trade instead of listening to Schumer MORE (D-Conn.) said Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE’s newfound support for his background check legislation shows that the politics surrounding gun violence are “shifting rapidly” following yet another deadly mass shooting last week.

But Murphy, who has unsuccessfully pushed for gun control measures since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in his state in 2012, emphasized that the background check bill is just one part of the equation to reducing gun violence.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement earlier Monday that Trump supports a bill co-authored by Murphy and Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Overnight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Senate GOP waves Trump off early motion to dismiss impeachment charges MORE (R-Texas) that would bolster the federal background check system, though she emphasized that “discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered” to the measure.

The comments came five days after a gunman killed 17 people and injured more than a dozen others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.


The bipartisan measure is narrowly focused on background checks; it would require states and federal agencies to produce plans to report offenses that would bar people from passing a check needed to purchase a firearm.

It also reiterates that federal agencies must report all violations to the National Instant Criminal Background Check system and creates new financial incentives for states to report information.

Cornyn and Murphy unveiled the measure last November in response to a mass shooting in Texas, but it was never passed into law. It is the rare gun legislation supported by the National Rifle Association.

It remains unclear whether the president would back more sweeping gun bills.

Efforts to ban bump stocks following a deadly mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival last year stalled in Congress, despite support from Trump and other Republicans.

But a number of states and cities have passed their own laws to prohibit the sale and possession of the devices, which make a semi-automatic weapon fire like an automatic one.

— Jordan Fabian contributed