Trump is — once again — 'all in favor' of background checks that he opposed in February

In the wake of the deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, officials are talking about giving consideration to studying stronger measures on gun control.

One of the primary suggestions put forth — including by President Trump in recent days — is an expansion of background checks for firearms purchases. In February, the Democratic-led House passed two pieces of legislation that would have done that.

The first, H.R. 8, was dubbed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 for its five Republican co-sponsors, although it received just eight Republican votes on final passage. The legislation mandates background checks be performed on all gun sales, including those made privately via the internet or at gun shows. Under current law, only licensed gun dealers are required to conduct a background check for potential purchasers. There would still be some exceptions, including transfers between close relatives or loaning for use at a shooting range or while hunting.

The second was meant to extend the amount of time it can take for background checks to process, from three business days to 10, with a potential extension of an additional 10 days. Under current laws, if the check takes longer than three days due to incomplete data, the sale moves forward. This has been referred to as the “Charleston loophole,” as it is how Dylann Roof, who killed nine people at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., obtained his gun.

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Charleston SC shooting suspect. Dylann Roof
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Charleston SC shooting suspect. Dylann Roof
Photos found on a website that allegedly belongs to church shooting suspect Dylann Roof.
Photos found on a website that allegedly belongs to church shooting suspect Dylann Roof.
Photos found on a website that allegedly belongs to church shooting suspect Dylann Roof.
Photos found on a website that allegedly belongs to church shooting suspect Dylann Roof.
Photos found on a website that allegedly belongs to church shooting suspect Dylann Roof.
Photos found on a website that allegedly belongs to church shooting suspect Dylann Roof.
Photos found on a website that allegedly belongs to church shooting suspect Dylann Roof.
Photos found on a website that allegedly belongs to church shooting suspect Dylann Roof.
Photos found on a website that allegedly belongs to church shooting suspect Dylann Roof.
Photos found on a website that allegedly belongs to church shooting suspect Dylann Roof.
Photos found on a website that allegedly belongs to church shooting suspect Dylann Roof.
This image has been provided by the Charleston Police Department, Thursday, June 18, 2015. A man opened fire during a prayer meeting inside a historic black church in downtown Charleston, S.C., Wednesday night, June 17, 2015, killing nine people, including the pastor in an assault that authorities are calling a hate crime. The shooter remained at large Thursday. (Photo via Charleston Police Department)
The Emanuel AME Church is viewed behind a police vehicle on June 18, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina, after a mass shooting at the Church on the evening of June 17, 2015. US police on Thursday arrested a 21-year-old white gunman suspected of killing nine people at a prayer meeting in one of the nation's oldest black churches in Charleston, an attack being probed as a hate crime. The shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in the southeastern US city was one of the worst attacks on a place of worship in the country in recent years, and comes at a time of lingering racial tensions. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A police officer holds up a tape in front of the Emanuel AME Church June 18, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina, after a mass shooting at the church on the evening of June 17, 2015. US police on Thursday arrested a 21-year-old white gunman suspected of killing nine people at a prayer meeting in one of the nation's oldest black churches in Charleston, an attack being probed as a hate crime. The shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in the southeastern US city was one of the worst attacks on a place of worship in the country in recent years, and comes at a time of lingering racial tensions. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A view ofthe Emanuel AME Church is seen June 18, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina, after a mass shooting at the church on the evening of June 17, 2015. US police on Thursday arrested a 21-year-old white gunman suspected of killing nine people at a prayer meeting in one of the nation's oldest black churches in Charleston, an attack being probed as a hate crime. The shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in the southeastern US city was one of the worst attacks on a place of worship in the country in recent years, and comes at a time of lingering racial tensions. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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“Well, I’m looking to do background checks,” said Trump on Wednesday. “I think background checks are important. I don’t want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate, sick people. I don’t want to — I’m all in favor of it.”

Trump was all in favor of background checks after the shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., last year, saying, “We’re going to be very strong on background checks. We’re going to be doing very strong background checks.”

Flashback: President Trump keeps lawmakers guessing at gun meeting >>>

However, Trump didn’t support either of the House bills, with the White House issuing a statement prior to their passage saying he would veto them. The measures were strongly opposed by the National Rifle Association, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring them up for a vote.

In 2013, following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., a bipartisan bill to expand background checks, sponsored by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., received 54 votes in the Senate, short of the 60 needed to pass, and was never voted on in the House. The Manchin-Toomey proposal failed again in 2015 after it was reintroduced after a mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif.

Some Republican legislators have pushed for passing a “red flag” law as a response to the weekend’s shootings. The legislation would allow a judge to temporarily order the confiscation of firearms from individuals deemed dangerous by the courts after a referral from relatives, friends or law enforcement. At least 17 states currently have similar legislation, the majority passed in the year and a half since the killings in Parkland.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement Wednesday that red flag laws weren’t an adequate response.

"The notion that passing a tepid version of an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) bill — alone — is even close to getting the job done in addressing rampant gun violence in the U.S. is wrong and would be an ineffective cop-out," Schumer said, adding, “We Democrats are not going to settle for half-measures so Republicans can feel better and try to push the issue of gun violence off to the side.”

Schumer said that if Republicans brought up a red flag bill, his caucus would push for a vote on the House bills from February, saying, “Democrats in the Senate will seek to require that any ERPO bill that comes to the floor is accompanied by a vote on the House-passed universal background checks legislation.”

Rep. Mike Turner, a Republican who represents Dayton, said earlier this week that he now supports a ban on assault-weapon-style firearms and extended magazines in addition to the red flag laws. Turner is a former mayor of Dayton, and his daughter was across the street from the shooting Saturday night. He voted against the background check bills earlier this year, and his campaign was endorsed by the NRA in 2018.

Fellow Ohio Republicans have also put forth proposals. Gov. Mike DeWine announced a plan Tuesday for universal background checks and red flag laws. Sen. Rob Portman, who voted against the Manchin-Toomey bill in 2013, has expressed support for red flag laws in the wake of the Dayton shooting.

45 PHOTOS
Dayton, Ohio shooting: Families, locals and more mourn the victims
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Dayton, Ohio shooting: Families, locals and more mourn the victims
Jamila McNichols, sister of slain mass shooting victim Thomas "TJ" McNichols, mourns beside a memorial near the scene of the mass shooting Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Family members of slain mass shooting victim Thomas "TJ" McNichols, from left, Donna Johnson, aunt, and sisters Jamila and Finesse McNichols, mourn beside a memorial near the scene of the shooting Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A mourner prays his rosary beads beside a memorial outside Ned Peppers bar that was the scene of a mass shooting the previous day Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Finesse McNichols, sister of slain mass shooting victim Thomas "TJ" McNichols, mourns beside a memorial near the scene of the crime, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather outside Ned Peppers bar that was the scene of a mass shooting the previous day, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners pause for a prayer as they gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners visit a makeshift memorial outside Ned Peppers bar following a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at the scene of a mass shooting during a vigil, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners visit a makeshift memorial outside Ned Peppers bar following a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A makeshift memorial is setup outside Ned Peppers bar following a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners comfort one another during a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, left, speaks alongside Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, right, during a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners sing as they participate in a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Balloons are released as mourners gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley speaks during a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners light candles as they participate in a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners light candles as they participate in a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners bow their heads in prayer as they gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners bow their heads in prayer as they gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners bow their heads in prayer as they gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Doves are released over gathered mourners during a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners bow their heads in prayer as they gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Flowers are placed at the front of a business as mourners gather at the scene of a mass shooting before a prayer vigil, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at the scene of a mass shooting before a vigil, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A tight bullet pattern remains in the window of a storefront as mourners gather at the scene of a mass shooting before a vigil, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A mourner places flowers at the front of Ned Peppers bar as they gather at the scene of a mass shooting before a prayer vigil, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners hugs at the front of Ned Peppers bar while they gather at the scene of a mass shooting before a prayer vigil, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners place flowers and candles at the front of Ned Peppers bar while they gather at the scene of a mass shooting before a prayer vigil, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
DAYTON, OHIO - AUGUST 05: Annette Gibson-Strong cries after visiting a memorial to those killed in yesterday's mass shooting in the Oregon District on August 05, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. Nine people were killed and another 27 injured when a gunman identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire with an AR-15 style rifle in the popular entertainment district. Betts was subsequently shot and killed by police. The shooting happened less than 24 hours after a gunman in El Paso, Texas opened fire at a shopping mall killing 22 people. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
DAYTON, OHIO - AUGUST 05: Annette Gibson-Strong visits a memorial to those killed in yesterday's mass shooting in the Oregon District on August 05, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. Nine people were killed and another 27 injured when a gunman identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire with a AR-15 style rifle in the popular entertainment district. Betts was subsequently shot and killed by police. The shooting happened less than 24 hours after a gunman in El Paso, Texas opened fire at a shopping mall killing 22 people. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
DAYTON, OHIO - AUGUST 05: A memorial to those killed in yesterday's mass shooting sits along the sidewalk in the Oregon District on August 05, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. Nine people were killed and another 27 injured when a gunman identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire with a AR-15 style rifle in the popular entertainment district. Betts was subsequently shot and killed by police. The shooting happened less than 24 hours after a gunman in Texas opened fire at a shopping mall killing 22 people. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
DAYTON, OHIO - AUGUST 05: A memorial to yesterday's shooting victims sits in the Oregon District following on August 05, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. Nine people were killed and another 27 injured when a gunman identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire with a AR-15 style rifle in the popular entertainment district. Betts was shot and killed by police. The shooting happened less than 24 hours after a gunman in Texas opened fire at a shopping mall killing 20 people. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
DAYTON, OHIO - AUGUST 05: A mourner prays at a makeshift memorial in the Oregon District following yesterday's mass shooting on August 05, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. Nine people were killed and another 27 injured when a gunman identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire with a AR-15 style rifle in the popular entertainment district. Betts was shot and killed by police. The shooting happened less than 24 hours after a gunman in Texas opened fire at a shopping mall killing 20 people. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
DAYTON, OHIO - AUGUST 05: Mourners pray at a makeshift memorial in the Oregon District following yesterday's mass shooting on August 05, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. Nine people were killed and another 27 injured when a gunman identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire with a AR-15 style rifle in the popular entertainment district. Betts was shot and killed by police. The shooting happened less than 24 hours after a gunman in Texas opened fire at a shopping mall killing 20 people. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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Guns have not been a major issue in the Democratic presidential race thus far. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., has put forth a plan to require a license to buy and own a gun. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., who has dropped out of the race, proposed an assault-weapons ban combined with a mandatory buyback. Under Swalwell’s legislation, those who did not sell their guns would be prosecuted.

A study released earlier this year found that the more guns that were in a state, the more mass shootings occurred. In Missouri, a reduction in gun regulation led to an increase in deaths, while tighter regulations decreased deaths in Connecticut.

The last significant gun control measure to pass Congress was an assault-weapons ban enacted in 1994. It expired a decade later, and lawmakers did not renew it. There have been executive actions taken in an attempt to implement new gun regulations. Following pressure after the October 2017 shooting in Las Vegas, Trump’s Justice Department issued an order essentially banning bump stocks, which allow semiautomatic weapons to fire like automatics. Former President Barack Obama issued an executive order that would have restricted firearms sales to people receiving Social Security benefits for mental disability, but Trump signed legislation rolling that policy back in his first full month in office.

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