WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – Senator Pat Toomey is among a small group of Senators who met with the President on Wednesday to discuss a path forward on guns. Toomey has pitched a plan to expand background checks during gun sales that he says has Republican support. But Democrats continue to demand that the Senate vote on a House Bill that would require background checks for any gun sale, including private sales.
“I was on the phone with him for 40 minutes,” said Sen.Toomey (R-Pennsylvania). “We had a lengthy, substantive, very constructive conversation.’
Senator Toomey said he made his case to President Trump for support of expanding background checks on all commercial gun sales.
“I’m hoping that the president will embrace our proposal,” said Toomey
As of Thursday morning, Toomey admitted the path forward remains unclear. Wednesday, President Trump told reporters expanding background checks is still option.
“We’re looking at putting everything together in a unified way so that we can have something that’s meaningful,” said President Trump.
But since the recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump’s focus shifted from guns laws to mental health. Democrats want to take action before he changes his mind again.
“The problem is one day Donald Trump said he’s in favor of increased background checks then the next day after he talks to the NRA he backs off,” said Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia).
Senator Mark Warner wants a bill that includes universal background checks. He’s urging Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to bring a vote to the floor, even without the president’s approval.
“Americans will be able to see which legislators are willing to do more than just send thoughts and prayers,” said Sen. Warner.
Guns remain a key issue for voters. Senator Toomey said me he’s optimistic a compromise will be made.
“The American public very much wants something done in this space if you ask me,” said Sen. Toomey.
While Congress remains divided on how far to take background checks, many lawmakers agree red flags laws are a good step toward keeping guns out of the wrong hands.