Just hours after calling for thoughts and prayers for those impacted by the deadly shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, the first daughter is sharing an unexpected appeal about reforming gun laws on social media. It's a surprising call, considering it appears to contradict her father's administration's stance on gun policy. In addition to calling for the implementation of red flag laws and increased resources to mental health support, Ivanka Trump's Instagram about gun control on Sunday, Aug. 4 surprisingly touted background checks as one of the reforms she'd like to see in place.
Following the weekend's deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, which saw at least 30 victims die at the hands of two gunmen, Trump was one of the many who took to social media to reflect on the tragedy. Shortly after the shootings, the first daughter took to Twitter to condemn the attacks as acts of "hate, terror, and violence," while calling white supremacy "an evil that must be destroyed." She also took to her Instagram Story just a few hours later to share her unexpected stance on gun control reform.
"Congress should enact Red Flag laws/Extreme Risk Protection Orders in every state, increase resources dedicated to mental health support nationwide and close background check loopholes," she wrote, referring to laws that allow law enforcement or family members to ask state courts to temporarily prevent people who may present a danger to others or themselves from having access to firearms, and loopholes that allow people to legally buy guns without undergoing a background check.
She concluded, "You can strongly support and defend the 2nd Amendment while calling for these common sense, and long-overdue reforms."
While Trump has previously referred to red flag laws and increased funds for mental health programs as a way to address gun violence, this appears to be the first time that she's publicly shared her support for stronger background checks before people are legally allowed to own guns.
While the federal government currently requires licensed dealers to conduct checks, private sales between individuals and sales at gun shows are exempt from the required checks. Per a 2015 study conducted by Harvard University and Northeastern University, approximately 40% of gun sales do not include a background check.
There have been moves to change things, but they haven't gone anywhere. The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill in February that would require a background check to be conducted before firearms could trade hands, thus getting rid of loopholes that have previously existed at gun shows or for private transactions online and between individuals. However, the Republican-led Senate has yet to vote on the measure. Following the two shootings, politicians and gun safety advocates have called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take up a vote on expanding background checks.
In a pair of tweets on Aug. 5, President Trump suggested that Democrats and Republicans could work together on "strong background checks," but also suggested tying the issue to immigration, one of his key issues. The White House did not respond to Elite Daily's request for additional comment on the tweet. In a press conference later the same day, the president made no mention of either background checks or any other major action on gun control, instead laying the blame on video games, the internet, and the alleged mental health of the shooters, and saying that his administration would pursue red flag laws and social media monitoring to prevent shootings.
U.S. Attorney John Bash said at a news conference in El Paso on Aug. 4 that authorities were treating the incident as a "domestic terrorist case" and "seriously considering" federal hate crime charges against one of the alleged shooters.
Ivanka Trump tweeted on Aug. 4, "As our nation mourns the senseless loss of life in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio and prays for the victims and their loved ones, we must also raise our voices in rejection of these heinous and cowardly acts of hate, terror and violence."
"White supremacy, like all other forms of terrorism, is an evil that must be destroyed," Trump added.
While the first daughter's unexpected comments seem to show a change of heart, or at least a willingness to publicly take her own stance, only time will tell whether she works with President Trump to reform the nation's current gun laws and implement actual change.