President Trump called National Rifle Association (NRA) chief executive Wayne LaPierre on Tuesday to tell him that universal background checks for gun purchases are off the table, The Atlantic reported.
The report comes weeks after Trump said he supported such legislation that has strong support in public polling in the wake of deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, that left 31 dead.
Trump at the time indicated support for legislation on “meaningful background checks,” saying the issue was not a question of the NRA or political partisanship.
“On background checks, we have tremendous support for really common-sense, sensible, important background checks,” Trump told reporters on Aug. 9 following the shootings.
Trump reportedly no longer supports background checks.
“He was cementing his stance that we already have background checks and that he’s not waffling on this anymore,” a source told The Atlantic with regard to Trump’s phone call with LaPierre on Tuesday. “He doesn’t want to pursue it.”
Trump told LaPierre that he instead wanted to focus on “increasing funding” for mental health care.
LaPierre confirmed Tuesday evening that he had spoken to Trump in a tweet.
“I spoke to the president today. We discussed the best ways to prevent these types of tragedies,” LaPierre wrote on the NRA’s Twitter account. “@realDonaldTrump is a strong #2A President and supports our Right to Keep and Bear Arms!”
I spoke to the president today. We discussed the best ways to prevent these types of tragedies. @realDonaldTrump is a strong #2A President and supports our Right to Keep and Bear Arms! – Wayne LaPierre
— NRA (@NRA) August 20, 2019