Senate Dems call on Trump to support stricter background checks
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and key Senate Democrats are pushing President Trump to support requiring a background check on every gun sale, including for firearms sold at gun shows and on the internet.
Schumer and Democratic Sens. Bill Nelson (Fla.), Chris Murphy (Conn.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) sent a letter to Trump urging him to make good on his pledge to “strongly” push for comprehensive background checks in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
“Were you to endorse legislation to require a background check on every gun purchase, without other poison pill provisions attached, we could finally move much closer towards the comprehensive system that you called for after the Stoneman Douglas attack,” the senators wrote.
They added that Trump should, at a minimum, support legislation that would close “dangerous loopholes” and require background checks for sales at gun shows or over the internet.
“It makes no sense that an individual who is denied a gun by a federally licensed dealer can simply visit a gun show or go online to purchase the same gun that they were denied at the store,” they wrote.
The letter comes as a bipartisan group of lawmakers are expected to meet with Trump at the White House on Wednesday afternoon to discuss gun control and school safety following the Parkland shooting.
Murphy and Klobuchar will take part in the meeting, according to a list of attendees from the White House.
Congress is under growing pressure to pass new legislation after 17 people were killed in the Florida shooting on Feb. 14.
Trump has floated a number of proposals following the shooting, including comprehensive background checks, arming teachers and increasing the age to buy certain rifles from 18 to 21.
Senate Republicans are lining up behind the Fix NICS (National Instant Background Check System) Act, which enforces current law by ensuring that states and agencies provide criminal records to the NICS, while penalizing those that don’t.
But Democrats, while supportive of the bill, argue it does not go far enough. They want the chamber to have additional votes and have pointed to universal background checks as their top priority.
Support of universal background checks on gun sales is very popular, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released last week. Ninety-seven percent support the requirement, including 97 percent of voters who identify as Republicans.