Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump’s eldest daughter and senior adviser, has been calling lawmakers to talk about potential gun legislation, another sign that the administration could be open to gun control measures.
The conversations have been taking place following the two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio earlier this month, Axios reported Tuesday.
Congress is out of session for the month of August, but Ivanka spoke with Democratic Senator Joe Manchin last Wednesday about a bipartisan background check bill he is co-sponsoring with Republican Senator Pat Toomey.
Manchin, who was on vacation in Hawaii when he spoke with Trump, talked with her about what changes might need to be made to the bill for it to get passed by the Republican-controlled Senate.
‘She called Manchin and said she was trying to get a sense of what bills are out there,’ an aide to the West Virginia senator told Axios. ‘She had him explain how they drafted the bill, where it stands and what changes needed to be made in order for it to pass.’
Ivanka Trump has been calling lawmakers to discuss potential moves on gun control legislation in the wake of two mass shootings earlier this month
She called Senator Joe Manchin while he was vacationing in Hawaii last week, and an aide said ‘She had him explain how they drafted the bill, where it stands and what changes needed to be made in order for it to pass’
Democrat Manchin (right) and Republican Pat Toomey (left) are cosponsoring a bill in the Senate that would expand background checks to almost all commercial firearms purchases
After the two most recent mass shootings, which happened within hours of eachother and resulted in 31 deaths, Trump posted an Instagram note calling for Congress to ‘enact Red Flag laws… and close background check loopholes’
Only eight House Republicans voted to pass a bill in February that would strengthen background check laws, which, if passed in the Senate, would make the check mandatory for almost all commercial firearms purchases.
Even in light of the 31 deaths from the two mass shootings, it’s unlikely enough Republicans would get on board for regulations that strict.
The talks, however, indicate the administration’s move toward passing regulations on firearms, even though Trump did not signal the White House position during her conversations.
The president has expressed openness to stricter background checks, even though those in conservative circles oppose restrictions on the Second Amendment or any regulations that would make obtaining a gun more difficult.
Last week, he told reporter there was a ‘great appetite for background checks’ in America. He also said the National Rifle Association is ‘going to get there also… or maybe will be a little bit more neutral’ on the measure.
The NRA has already warned Trump he could likely lose supporters if he goes forward with a strengthening background checks for those wishing to buy a gun – and he has been speaking with aides about his base would react to different moves on gun control.
Ivanka’s conversation with Manchin Wednesday followed Donald Trump’s talks with him on Monday and Tuesday. He expressed worry that the National Rifle Association did not support the background checks bill
The conversations with lawmakers show the administration’s openness to expanding background checks or support some sort of gun control legislation in light of the recent shootings
Manchin also spoke with the president in the two days before he spoke with his daughter about the NRA’s concerns with the bill.
‘We talked about that,’ Manchin said of his conversations with Trump. ‘I told him, ‘we don’t expect the NRA to be supportive. Mr. President, in all honesty, when you did the bump stocks, they weren’t for you. They were against that, too. You didn’t take any hit on that.”
The president told the moderate Democrat that he wanted legislation before Congress returns from its recess next month.
After the two gunman opened fire within hours of each other earlier this month, Ivanka called on Congress to ‘enact Red Flag laws… and close background check loopholes,’ in a note posted to her Instagram.
One of the alleged gunmen, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, posted an online manifesto with anti-immigrant tropes before opening fire at an El Paso Walmart on August 3.
And the other suspect, 24-year-old Connor Betts, who was shot dead by police when he opened fire on August 4, was suspended from high school for having a so-called ‘hit list’ of people he wanted to kill.
‘You can strongly support and defend the 2nd Amendment while calling for these common sense, and long-overdue reforms,’ Ivanka said, adding the legislation should ‘include increasing resources dedicated to mental health support.’