Democrats say they are still talking with the White House about expanding background checks for gun buyers despite President Donald Trump’s wavering on gun control legislation.
Democratic Senator Chris Murphy told reporters in Connecticut that he spoke with Trump aides as recently as Thursday to try to come up with a version of background checks legislation that could pass the Republican-controlled Senate.
He said he also spoke with Trump after shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and that the president indicated he was serious about doing something. But since then the president has made contradictory statements about how far he’s willing to go.
Murphy said he would continue negotiating in good faith with the White House, though he remained skeptical, as Trump backed away from similar commitments made after a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. He said Republican senators are waiting for the president to make the first move.
"I am skeptical that these efforts are going to bear fruit. I think it's very hard to negotiate with this White House when the president's public positions seem to change by the day," Murphy said. He said "the chances of success here are less than 50-50, but I think it's worth giving this a shot."
”If Donald Trump gets behind a background checks reform bill, it will pass the Senate,” Murphy said Friday. “This is really ultimately up to the president.”
Still, stricter firearms law faces significant hurdles in the Senate. Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana said it “remains to be seen” whether Senate could pass gun legislation this year.
“I heard a lot of feedback back home in Montana and most Montanans don’t believe gun control is the answer,” he said.
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