Calling the moment “critical,” Sen. Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent President Trump a letter on Sunday urging him to expand background checks and use his influence to sway Republicans in the Senate who blocked the bill passed by the House earlier this year.
The letter mentioned earlier reports that Trump has signaled an openness to stricter background checks. Last month, Hogan Gidley, the White House principal deputy press secretary, told Fox News that Trump is for meaningful checks, but Democrats seize on any willingness to compromise and say “no, unless you’re for saying to Hell with the Second Amendment and taking guns away from law-abiding citizens, then you are responsible for the deaths of people across the country.”
Pelosi and Schumer pointed to the mass shootings in August that claimed 51 lives and told the president that he is “uniquely positioned” to answer the call of Americans for more gun restrictions.
The New York Times first reported on the letter. Fox News has obtained a copy.
The two Democrats said the bill would “close the gaping loophole in the law that allows private gun sellers to evade existing background check requirements.”
The bill passed by the House in February would require background checks on all gun sales.
Sen. Roy Blunt, R- Mo., said Sunday on NBC News' "Meet the Press" that "the president needs to step up here and set some guidelines for what he would do. ... I'm afraid what's going happen here is what always happens, is we take this silly, 'if we don't get everything, we won't do anything.'"
Fox News' Gregg Re contributed to this report