Media notices Trump cooling to more gun laws

Monday, August 19, 2019
Chad Groening (

NPR headline: Trump and gunsIt would be welcome news if President Trump is backtracking from his stated support for more gun restrictions, says the spokesman for a pro-2nd Amendment group.

Horrific shootings in El Paso and Dayton on August 3 kicked off a new round of gun control debate: Democrats clambering to be the presidential nominee vowed to ban and even confiscate AR-15 rifles, and Republicans feeling pressure to act, or risk losing support in the suburbs, came out in support of so-called “red flag” laws.

But it appears the GOP support is waning.

“Trump shifts from background checks to mental illness reform at N.H. rally,” reads the headline of an NPR story describing the president’s August 15 rally in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“There is a mental illness problem that has to be dealt with,” Trump told the crowd. “It's not the gun that pulls the trigger — it's the person holding the gun.”

NPR, no fan of Trump or his policies, went on to point out that Trump did not mention his stated support for red flag laws, or his support for “meaningful background checks,” as he called them days after the shooting.

“I am looking to do background checks,” Trump pointedly told reporters hours before he was set to visit both cities. 

Trump's post-shooting change of heart was noticed by the well-read Drudge Report, which meant the red-inked story describing the president's openness to more restrictive laws reached ten of millions in just hours. 

To the reporters at NPR, however, the shift in New Hampshire appeared to be a red flag that Trump’s strong stances have changed.

The Washington Post also noticed a possible shift. "It sounds as if Trump has no intention of pusing for gun-control laws," reads the headline of an August 19 story. 

Drudge headline on NRA and Trump

Mike Hammond, legislative counsel at Gun Owners of America, says GOA members sent a whopping two million letters to the White House and to the Senate in past weeks, urging Republicans to support the 2nd Amendment.  

“I am cautiously optimistic,” he says, “that the Republican Senators and the Trump White House have seen the light."

In an August 8 OneNewsNow story about Trump’s changing stance on gun laws, a reader poll showed virtually zero support for his shift. Of nearly 5,000 total votes, only five percent supported stronger gun laws. Thirty-five percent seleced "Won't be enough for Dems and media" and another 34 percent chose "Law's don't stop hatred, Mr. President." 


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