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NRA Chief Wayne Lapierre Called Trump to Warn Him About Background Checks: Report

During a White House lawn press spray, President Donald Trump told assembled reporters that he was “all in favor” of  “background checks like we’ve never had before.”

“I think background checks are important. I don’t want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate, sick people. I’m all in favor of it,” Trump said.

But the Washington Post is reporting that NRA leader Wayne LaPierre spoke with President Trump, warning him that increased background checks for those trying to purchase firearms would not go well with Trump’s base of supporters and the NRA.

Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey and Seung Min Kim reported:

NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre spoke with Trump on Tuesday after the president expressed support for a background check bill and told him it would not be popular among Trump’s supporters, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss internal talks. LaPierre also argued against the bill’s merits, the officials said.

Following two-weekend mass shootings that have left 31 individuals dead and many more seriously wounded, there has been renewed calls for any possible legislation designed to lessen the frequency of mass shootings, the occurrences of which have sharply increased since the Assault Rifle Ban expired well over a decade ago.

Trump has previously supported increased background checks, but the only gun reform legislation that has gone into effect during his administration is the ban on bump stocks following the Las Vegas shooting in which the assailant used the device that effectively turns a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic one.

There has been growing criticism of legislators more beholden to donations provided by the very powerful gun lobby, and LaPierre’s reported warning to President Trump will present an interesting political crucible over this administration’s efforts — if any — to aim to curb the growing rash of mass shootings.

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