Last Thursday, September 5, 2019, President Donald Trump met with West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin to talk about universal background checks and other gun control measures.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the meeting took place in the White House. Trump and Manchin “touched on a range of possible gun-related policy issues including background checks.”
According to one White House source, “The president expressed interest in getting a result, so conversations will continue to see if there’s a way to create a reasonable background check proposal, along with other ideas.”
Back in March 26, 2017, Manchin told New York Times that the Trump administration represented “a complete opportunity” because gun owners believe Trump will not pass extreme gun control.
However, Trump should be cautious when dealing with Manchin. After all, Manchin was one of the principal architects ,alongside Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, of a universal background check proposal in 2013. If passed, this would have been the largest gun control expansion at the federal level since the passage of the Brady Act in 1993.
Trump should stick with his gut instincts and not entertain any form of gun control compromise. His base is largely pro-gun and will not forgive him for a gun control betrayal. The 2020 elections will likely be a heated affair and Trump will need every vote he can get.
Compromising on the gun issue could prove to be risky come election time. For that reason, Trump should not follow up on any gun control discussions with Joe Manchin.