President Donald Trump embraced Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) gun control bill but rejected Rep. Steve Scalise’s (R-LA) push for national reciprocity during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers Wednesday afternoon.
After listening to Sen Chris Murphy (D-CT), Trump looked at toward the end of the table and asked Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) to detail their gun control bill.
The Manchin/Toomey gun control bill is the same universal background check legislation supported by Barack Obama in the wake of the heinous attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School. It the very bill that was defeated in the Democrat-controlled Senate on April 17, 2013.
Toomey described it for Trump, saying the bill “strengthens the reporting of information into the background check system” and “requires background checks on all commercial sales.” This is code-talk for requiring background checks on private gun sales, which Toomey described as sales at gun shows and online (even though online sales already require a background check).
Manchin then spoke and suggested that West Virginians will support the Manchin/Toomey gun control bill if Trump will support it. He did not mention that the Manchin/Toomey bill would not have prevented the Florida attack — just as it would not have prevented the Sandy Hook attack that spawned it.
Trump spoke of the using the Manchin/Toomey bill “as a base” to which other gun bills can be added, and then continued taking comments from various senators and representatives in attendance.
When it was Rep. Scalise’s time to speak, he highlighted the crime-fighting value of concealed carriers and the need to pass national reciprocity legislation. National reciprocity was introduced in the House on January 3, 2017, and passed in the House on December 6, 2017. It was introduced in the Senate on March 1, 2017, and it has yet to come up for a vote nor has Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said a word in support of it.
Trump shut down Scalise’s reciprocity push, suggesting the gun control package being pieced together would never pass if national reciprocity were added to it.
Trump looked at Scalise and said, “You know I’m your biggest fan in the whole world. I think that maybe that bill will someday pass, but it should pass as a separate bill. … You’ll never get this passed. If you add concealed carry to this, you’ll never get it passed. Let it be a separate bill.”
Trump added, “We want to get something done.”