Trump has spoken to NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre multiple times over the last two days, a person familiar with the conversations tells CNN. In those conversations, LaPierre made clear the NRA’s stance on renewed calls for expanded background checks — something the President has privately and publicly supported in recent days.
The NRA chief stressed to Trump that they don’t think the calls for more restrictive gun measures in Washington match how his supporters in deep red areas feel about the issue, the person said.
Reflecting that conversation, the gun lobby group tweeted on Thursday that “the NRA’s long-standing position that those who have been adjudicated as a danger to themselves or others should not have access to firearms and should be admitted for treatment.”
“But, there needs to be real evidence of danger — and we cannot sacrifice anyone’s constitutional rights without due process,” the organization said in a series of tweets. “It is not enough anymore to simply say that ‘we need more background checks.’ Considering both suspects in El Paso and Dayton passed them, that is rhetoric for billionaire activists and campaign rallies — not a call for constructive progress.”
However, the day after his initial call with LaPierre, Trump told reporters that he’ll be working with Congress on legislation to address mass shootings, starting with background checks and mental illness.
Democrats have called for the President and Republican leaders to act on legislation in the wake of the two shootings, which left more than 30 dead. A source familiar with internal discussions told CNN that Trump is looking at ways to tighten up background checks through some sort of executive action, but the source cautioned it’s too early in the process to get into any more detail.
Last year, Trump signed the Fix NICS Act, which, among other things, awards funds to states that voluntarily provide information on individuals for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System database. But the law did not prevent the mass shootings this weekend because there is currently no evidence that the two alleged shooters were legally prohibited from owning firearms.
She added that Trump had spoken with Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, and Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, about their background check legislation.
This story has been updated.
CNN’s Jim Acosta, Kevin Liptak and Nikki Carvajal contributed to this report.