UPDATED 7:59 AM PT — Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Democrat Senator Joe Manchin and Republican Senator Pat Toomey met with President Trump separately on Monday to push new gun reform legislation, specifically to expand background checks for firearm purchases. This includes those that take place at gun shows or over the internet.
Manchin announced the meeting on Twitter, even highlighting that the president “showed a willingness to work” with them.” In their conversation, the president noted that proposing new enactment is “much overdue.” He said it’s a very common sense and broadly supported measure.
2/3 …while respecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners and all Americans. The president showed a willingness to work with us on the issue of strengthening background checks.
— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) August 5, 2019
Hours later, the president spoke out about this past weekend’s mass shootings and condemned the hateful acts:
“The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul. “
President Trump also voiced support for stronger death penalty legislation for those who commit mass shootings, placing additional resources and new tools toward helping to identify early warning signs before shooters act along with reforming mental health laws.
“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” stated the president.
In the meantime, legislation to strengthen gun background checks faces an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled Senate. So far, there has been no reported timeline of when the Manchin-Toomey bill will be introduced to Congress.