DEVELOPING: White House and Justice Department Pitch Gun Control to Republican Leaders
The Daily Caller reports that the White House and Department of Justice (DOJ) have held meetings with multiple Republican senators and congressmen to put forward legislation on expanding background checks in the mold of the Toomey-Manchin bill.
The Daily Caller was able to receive a copy of an “idea sheet” that Republican leaders have been passing around, which indicates that the legislation in question would expand background checks to include all commercially advertised unlicensed sales.
“Consistent with the Manchin-Toomey draft legislation, a background-check requirement would be extended to all advertised commercial sales, including sales at gun shows,” the handout states. “Background checks would be conducted either through a [Federal Firearm Licensee] or through a newly-created class of licensed transfer agents.”
Attorney General Bill Barr and White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland were both in attendance at the Tuesday meetings, which were held on the Hill and included North Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Meadows, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, and Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley
Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee was supposed to meet to discuss the legislation, but Barr canceled the meeting, according to a report from a Senate Republican staffer.
One sources claims that Barr argued in favor of legislative action by warning that not doing anything would embolden the Democratic base right before the 2020 election. Barr claims that background check legislation is not a gun control measure, but rather as “a tool to assist law enforcement in cracking down on gun smugglers.”
Another source claims that the efforts to get Republicans to support this legislation are “superficial”, because “there was no draft text or other follow-up action promised to them after the meeting.”
Under federal law, all gun sales going through federally licensed dealers must go through background checks. However, private sales do not. The Toomey-Manchin legislation would allegedly ensure that all gun sales and transfers go through a background check. Family sales and transfers between friends would not be covered under this legislation.
Despite the loud cries for gun control, independent research has shown that both the normal background check system (NICS) and any expansions of it, would very likely not prevent mass shootings.
Republicans engaging in these debates should be careful about giving anti-gun Democrats an inch on gun control.