Donald Trump sat amid a bipartisan group of lawmakers today and asked for their ideas on what to do about gun violence and school shootings in America. By the time the rambling but remarkable meeting ended, he seemed to have changed his mind — and the narrative — on the red-hot-button issues, and threw his support behind some gun-control measures.
“We can’t wait and play games and nothing gets done,” he told the group of senators and representatives gathered in the White House’s Cabinet Room.
Trump also floated the idea of taking guns away from potentially violent people — Second, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments be damned. “I like taking guns away early,” the commander in chief said. “Take the guns first, go through due process second.”
Not exactly red meat for the base, Mr. President.
In an extraordinary sit-down, some of which aired live on cable news outlets, Trump seemed to support expanding background checks to online and gun-show sales. He also appeared to pooh-pooh a suggestion by Rep. Steve Scalise — the GOP lawmaker who was badly wounded in last summer’s attack on a congressional baseball team practice — that would let someone licensed for concealed carry in one state also pack heat in the 49 other states.
“You’re not gonna get concealed carry approved,” Trump said.
He was seated at the right hand of Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who authored the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004 — and introduced another ban in 2013 that died in Congress. In a televised moment, she handed POTUS a letter outlining her ideas for a future ban on assault-style and similar weapons, and he vowed to consider it.
Among the other legislators at the meeting were GOP Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and John Cronyn of Texas, and Senate Democrats Amy Klobuchaar of Minnesota and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.