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Senators Await Trump’s Stance on Gun Proposals

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) thinks the Senate can get to 60 votes on expanding background checks on firearm sales. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says a deal on red flag laws is imminent. Everyone is still waiting on one person: President Donald Trump, reports Politico. As of Tuesday evening, senators had no clear indication of what the next steps would be on gun legislation in the aftermath of several mass shootings during the August recess. Senators involved in gun negotiations said they believed the White House would come through with a proposal soon. Among the proposals being discussed: Expanding background checks, grants for states to implement red flag laws, and legislation from Sens. Toomey and Chris Coons (D-DE) that would alert local authorities if people fail background checks and crack down on straw purchases.

“He’s been interested, he’s been engaged, he’s been asking good questions. I don’t think it’s talking out of school, the president is not a gun aficionado,” Toomey said of Trump. Toomey has discussed tweaking his legislation to make it easier for private sellers for internet or newspaper sales to perform background checks with licensed firearms dealers, which can be long distances from people in rural areas. Toomey said only noncontroversial items should be included in the package so as not to sink his six-year effort to expand background checks. Despite significant divisions among the GOP, there are enough members advocating for some sort of action to keep prospects alive, although at the whims of an erratic president. “The chance to get a deal is now. We haven’t had a better chance in a number of years, so we better find common ground. How far we can go I don’t know,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA).