Sarah Sanders Clarifies the Increasingly Disjointed White House Position on Guns

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks to reporters at the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Two days after President Donald Trump seemed to embrace a decidedly Democratic vision of gun control, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders held an impromptu press gaggle and walked back much of what was said Wednesday — or, at the very least, clarified it.


After acknowledging invitations were being sent to representatives of the video game industry to meet with Trump to discuss his concerns about violence within video games, Sanders then told a press gaggle Friday morning that Trump continues to support the 2nd Amendment and that he’s still very much interested in shoring up the background check system.

“[President Trump is] not necessarily [interested in] universal background checks, but certainly improving the background check system,” Sanders told White House reporters. “He wants to see what that legislation, the final piece of it, looks like. Universal means something different to a lot of people. He certainly wants to focus and improve on the background check system. In terms of what legislation, as of right now, he supports the [Texas GOP Sen. John] Cornyn legislation… .”

Sanders also said the president is supportive of raising the age to purchase firearms to 21, a move several retailers have already independently decided to make. But, she continued, the President is aware that “there’s not a lot of broad support for that.” Additionally, she said that Trump foresees any elevation of the age limit as having more “potential” if handled at a state, rather than federal, level.


Sanders also made a point of noting that Trump is speaking to legislators like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on potential school safety legislation.

“[The President] wants to help move the ball down the field, so he’s going to keep having calls with a number of different members on how we can do that,” she said.


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