Though last November Trump opposed a bipartisan bill aimed at improving the gun background check database, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is now saying that the president supports the measure.
“The President spoke to Senator Cornyn on Friday about the bi-partisan bill he and Sen. Murphy introduced to improve Federal Compliance with Criminal Background check Legislation,” said Huckabee Sanders on Monday. “While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system.”
The announcement comes days after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that left victims dead. Trump spent the weekend watching coverage of the tragedy — as well as raging about the FBI and the Russia investigation on Twitter — at his Mar-a-Lago golf club, not a long distance away from the school.
The bill is a slight step forward, but what it proposes is far from radical. As noted by Talking Points Memo, it doesn’t propose any stricter background check requirements, nor does it close loopholes that currently exist. The bill even has the NRA’s stamp of approval.
Survivors of the shooting haven’t been letting Republicans shift the country’s focus away from the need for concrete legislative changes to make it harder for everyday people to get their hands on firearms. Numerous students have made social posts that have since gone viral, calling out politicians who say it’s too soon to talk politics or who have nothing to offer other than their thoughts and prayers. They’ve spoken out on television and have announced a nationwide “March for Our Lives” protest scheduled for March 24.
This bill might be a small sign of progress, but it’s nowhere near close what has to be done in order to end the widespread problem of gun violence in the U.S.