Pelosi, Schumer call on Trump to support background checks in new letter

Pelosi, Schumer call on Trump to support background checks in new letter

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House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) urged President Trump to back universal background checks in a letter sent on Sunday.

How we got here: The House passed bipartisan legislation that would expand background checks to all gun buyers, but it was blocked in the  Senate by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said that he would allow a vote only if the president indicates support for it. "If the President is in favor of a number of things that he has discussed openly and publicly, and I know that if we pass it, it will become law, I'll put it on the floor," McConnell said on "The Hugh Hewitt Show."

The president said that he is willing to discuss more background checks, but hasn't endorsed any. “I have an appetite for background checks. We’re going to be doing background checks. We’re working with Democrats. We’re working with Republicans. We already have very strong background checks, but we’re going to be filling in some of the loopholes," the president told reporters last month.

The letter cites the mass shootings that took place in August, McConnell's statement, and reports that he is open to new background check laws.

​”We have a responsibility to make our schools, shopping centers, houses of worship and other public places safer. The American people are crying out for their elected representatives to stop the epidemic of murder and mayhem that is shattering families and communities across the country. You are uniquely positioned to answer their call," the letter reads.

“We implore you to seize this moment when your leadership and influence over Republicans in Congress on the issue of guns is so critical. Please do not squander it by acceding to NRA-backed proposals or other weak ideas that will do nothing to stop the continuing, horrific spread of gun violence and may, in some cases, actually make our communities less safe.​”

Read the full letter here.

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