The National Rifle Association is receiving tremendous negative press since the recent high school shooting. Those looking for immediate revisions to state and federal gun laws see the organization and its tremendous lobbying power as a target. And now it appears that even President Trump has turned on the NRA.
The calls for change are wide ranging. Many are calling for an all out ban on all guns, something that is highly unlikely to happen in the U.S. Others have asked for restrictions on all semi-automatics.
The President is keeping his reforms more modest. Rather than endorsing the idea of a ban on all modern sporting rifles, he’s looking for other options.
One that seems likely to pass is the bipartisan effort to fix the background check system that clears potential gun buyers. That is the first line of defense that could keep those who are not legally allowed to buy guns from obtaining them.
Yet Trump is aiming higher. “President Donald Trump,” The Daily Mail writes, “says he will be giving ‘very serious thought’ to signing legislation that lifts the minimum age for purchasing certain firearms like the AR-15 to 21.”
This move is not supported by the NRA. It is worth noting, too, that the NRA donated heavily to Trump’s campaign.
This doesn’t seem to be a show-stopper for Trump, though, who seems willing to go up against the NRA on this issue.
“Trump demanded to know why background check legislation that he wants to use as a vehicle for gun violence prevention measures doesn’t already contain the provision,” The Mail writes.
“You know why? Because you’re afraid of the NRA!” Trump told Sen. Pat Toomey. Toomey is the Republican author of the bipartisan bill. Trump seemed lighthearted when he said it, but the meaning was still clear.
These measures are all a part of a larger conversation about school safety. The President held a session on Wednesday in which 10 Republicans and 7 Democrats shared their ideas.
“Florida’s Democratic senator, Bill Nelson,” The Mail notes, “wasn’t invited.”
“I don’t know why I wasn’t invited,” he told reporters. “And of course that doesn’t foster bipartisanship when you’re trying to solve a problem.”
The indirect criticism of the NRA is just the latest move from President Trump on guns. Last week, he asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to find a way to make bump-stocks illegal.
While the moves have upset some of Trump’s base, he has also called for arming teachers and hardening schools against attacks like the one in Florida. Those calls to action have resonated with many Trump supporters.