Published: Fri, March 02, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Kristi Paul

Donald Trump to Pat Toomey: 'You're afraid of the NRA'

Donald Trump to Pat Toomey: 'You're afraid of the NRA'

Trump's preferred policies been well documented since the Parkland shooting.

President Donald Trump is holding another school safety meeting following last month's shooting at a South Florida high school. Some students visited with lawmakers Monday. But behind the scenes, the NRA has given Republican lawmakers the green light to float new gun restrictions without the threat of political retribution, according to two senior GOP officials.

The Texas Republican dismissed Wednesday's "brainstorming" session at the White House - calling it "Legislating 101" - and said he was not waiting for the president to produce a plan. "There's nothing to be afraid of".

He also noted his desire for legislation, while juggling the need to signal his fealty to the gun rights: "After many years, a Bill should emerge". Some Republican senators have already expressed concerns that errors in the expanded data could prevent some people from legally exercising their constitutional right to own guns. "I just don't think you're going to get it approved, you're not going to get concealed carry approved", Trump said. "I will sign it", Trump said in a freewheeling hour-long discussion at the White House with a group of lawmakers.

One of Trump's top gun safety proposals after the Florida school shooting was raising the age to purchase some rifles from 18 to 21. "We are not going to make a difference". And they're pressing him to endorse legislation that would extend the pre-purchase checks at least to online and gun show sales.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said Monday that if all Congress can accomplish is passage of the "Fix NICS" bill "it would be an abject failure and a dereliction of our duty".

The president is scheduled to have another meeting on school safety Thursday.

Fellow student Samuel Safaite said: "My teacher was taking attendance and she accidentally said Luke's name while she was doing roll, and, like, a lot of people just started crying, because we all knew that he was gone". Trump's approval rating, meanwhile, has slumped again to match the lowest of his presidency.

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump has been all over the place on guns, but he hasn't yet done the one thing that helps move votes in Congress: publicly support specific legislation to address gun violence.

In the House, many Democrats - and a few Republicans - also want to reinstate an assault weapons ban that expired more than a decade ago. The teenagers who survived have been making impassioned pleas for action on television, social media and at the White House. The concealed carry provision, as Trump indicated, can not pass in the Senate and is the main reason the House and Senate haven't yet agreed on legislation improving background checks.

The NRA opposed the Toomey-Manchin background check bill, and when Toomey faced a hard re-election in 2016, the powerful gun-rights group downgraded the Pennsylvanian's "A" rating to a "C".

To the dismay of Republicans, he dismissed the measure as having no chance at passage in Congress. After the meeting, Murphy, D-Conn., told reporters: "I'm anxious that this was the beginning and the end of the president's advocacy on this issue".

But even the "Fix NICS" bill faced resistance from some in the GOP ranks. "Allow due process so no one's rights are trampled but the ability to go to court, obtain an order and then collect not only the firearms but any weapons in the possession", Pence said.

He also said he wants to ban bump stocks devices, which enable a rifle to shoot hundreds of rounds a minute.

"That's sort of simple stuff that we should get done for the American public", he told The Associated Press. "President Trump has to find a pathway that he feels comfortable with", Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, who has proposed legislation requiring background checks for gun sales between private parties, told a West Virginia radio station on Monday.

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