White House talking points circulated to allies of the Trump administration on Tuesday urged Republicans to resist new gun control measures that would “curtail the freedoms of law abiding citizens.”
The document, obtained by the Washington Examiner, contains several bullet points that aim to help GOP lawmakers and pro-Trump pundits navigate the heated debate over the need for stricter gun laws in the wake of Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, which resulted in a death toll of 59 and left hundreds more injured.
President Trump welcomes “a reasoned and well-informed debate on public safety,” the talking points said, but holds fast to the view that the Second Amendment “is a key constitutional right that is meant to protect people’s freedoms.”
“The President believes that our founding principles, like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms must be protected while maintaining public safety,” the memo reads.
A section titled “Why Wait?”, presumably in reference to the gun control debate that began mere hours after the shooting occurred, reminds memo recipients that several “unknowns” remain surrounding the shooter’s motive, religious beliefs, mental health, and firearm purchases.
Here’s a sampling of how the White House has urged Republicans to respond to renewed calls for increased gun control:
- “When it comes to gun control, let’s be clear: new laws won’t stop a mad man committed to harming innocent people. They will curtail the freedoms of law abiding citizens.”
- “We’ve seen terrorist attacks committed with knives, by people driving cars into crowds, and hijacking airplanes…
- “We’ve had examples where concealed carry has allowed people to protect themselves and stop a mass shooting in its tracks, such as last month in a church in Texas.”
- “… more laws on the books may not work. The problems in these cities (Chicago and Baltimore) and many others isn’t too few gun laws.”
- “We welcome a reasoned and well-informed debate on public safety and our constitutional freedoms, but we reject the false choice that we can’t have both.”
Trump said earlier Tuesday that he and congressional Republicans “will be talking about gun laws as time goes on,” though he declined to weigh in on current legislation that would loosen restrictions on gun silencers.
A day earlier, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that having a debate on gun control so soon after the Vegas shooting is “not the place that we’re in at this moment.”
This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner