Report: White House, DOJ Floats Background Check Proposal Amongst Republicans

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Posted: Sep 18, 2019 6:40 PM
Report: White House, DOJ Floats Background Check Proposal Amongst Republicans

Source: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File

The White House and the Department of Justice has met with several Republican congressmen and senators over a proposal to expand background checks to include currently legal, private sales that take place at gun shows, the Daily Caller reported. A working "idea sheet" mimics the Toomey-Manchin bill, which is said to close the so-called "gun show loophole."

The proposal would require "all advertised commercial sales, including sales at gun shows," to go through a background check at a Federal Firearms Licensee or a newly-created group of licensed transfer agents. 

From the Caller: 

One source familiar with the meetings said that Barr pitched the legislation by warning that a lack of action could electrify the Democratic base prior to the 2020 election. Barr also did not consider the background check legislation a gun control measure, instead painting it as a tool to assist law enforcement in cracking down on gun smugglers, the source explained.

Another person familiar described the efforts to get Republicans on board as superficial, noting that there was no draft text or other follow-up action promised to them after the meeting.

Senate Republican Whip John Thune (R-SD) said Trump will have to decide what he's okay with. 

“There are some ideas floating around that different members of the administration are coming up with and at this point it’s probably too early to say” if Republicans will support it. “Our members are going to be very — proceed with caution — very skeptical of some of the ideas that have been put out there in the past, but I think they’re willing to listen."

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told The Hill he has yet to see the proposal "but I talked to [Attorney General William] Barr yesterday. He’s going around talking to people. If he’s good with it, I’m good with it."

As of now, President Donald Trump has yet to signal support for the bill.

“The President has not signed off on anything yet but has been clear he wants meaningful solutions that actually protect the American people and could potentially prevent these tragedies from ever happening again," Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, told POLITICO. “That is not a White House document, and any suggestion to contrary is completely false.”

Here's a copy of the memo: