AP Photo/Evan Vucci

A group of nearly a dozen mayors from across the country met with White House officials on Monday in an effort to push the president towards supporting a universal background check bill, including Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who’s currently involved in a lawsuit over Pittsburgh’s newly enacted gun control ordinances. The mayors didn’t meet with President Trump personally, but were involved in discussions with White House staff.

Rochester Hills, Mich., Mayor Bryan Barnett (R), who also serves as president of the United States Conference of Mayors, told Axios that it is no longer a shock when one hears that a mass shooting occurred “because it’s happening with such regularity.”

“I think we are seeing a tipping point,” Barnett said. “I’ve seen a change here. While they’re not looking to go as far as some folks on the left want to go, they understand something needs to be done. The status quo really isn’t acceptable.”

Meanwhile, a pair of anti-gun senators say they expect White House staffers to brief Trump on a potential gun control plan as early as Wednesday of this week.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said White House staff told him they would take a potential gun control plan to Trump this week, likely on Wednesday, and brief him on the status of negotiations.
“They told me … that they hoped to get something, a draft of something they thought would be acceptable to present to him,” Manchin told reporters. “I think that he will start looking at what recommendations they’ve finally come to.”
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), asked about Manchin’s timeline, said White House staff have told him they intend to brief Trump this week, adding, “At this point, I think the president probably needs to make a decision.”
“What they’ve told me is this week,” he said. “I think they’re at the point where they need to bring the status of negotiations to the president and make some decisions. We’ve made some offers. We’ve put some creative ideas on the table so we’re not coming in and saying universal background checks only or Manchin-Toomey only.”
The problem with Chris Murphy bringing “creative ideas” to the table is that he sees anything other than “universal background checks” as just an appetizer, not the main course. If President Trump turns around and supports anything less than universal background checks (already passed by the House as HR8), Democrats will likely vote for the bill and then turn around and immediately complain that Republicans aren’t going far enough because they’re still “beholden to the gun lobby”.
Meanwhile, “the gun lobby” (also known as “gun owners”) won’t be happy with any step towards “universal background checks”, and while they might still view Trump as the lesser of two evils, enthusiasm among his gun-owning base will likely see a dramatic cool down. I know a lot of gun owners who love Donald Trump. I don’t know anyone who appreciates him more than they appreciate their 2nd Amendment rights.
Republican Senators continue to say they will likely back whatever the President indicates he’ll support, while the President himself sounds like he’s looking for a way to “do something” when it comes to gun control.

Asked Monday when he will release his plan to address gun violence, Trump said: “We’re dealing with Democrats. We’re dealing with Republicans. We’re talking about a lot of different things having to do with, as you call it, gun control.”

At the same time, he said, “we have to protect our Second Amendment very strongly and we will always do that.”

What exactly does that statement mean in terms of actual legislation? It sounds like we might have to wait a few days to find out, but in the meantime, make sure that your representative and your senators have heard from you.