President Donald Trump on Wednesday rejected the idea of adding concealed-carry reciprocity to a bill that would bolster the country's background check system for gun purchases.
Some lawmakers have proposed a concealed-carry reciprocity measure that would allow individuals with a valid concealed-carry permit issued by any state and a valid government-issued photo ID to be able to carry a concealed gun in any state, as long as they abide by that state's gun laws.
Trump said during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers at the White House that, while the measure may pass one day as its own bill, adding it to any bipartisan background check legislation would doom it to fail.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.) brought up the idea of putting a national reciprocity measure into a background check bill.
"If you look at the concealed carry population by and large, these are people helping us to stop crimes, go out there and help prevent crimes," Scalise said.
Scalise added that he hopes the idea is not immediately dismissed, but the president was not persuaded.
"You know I'm your biggest fan in the whole world," Trump told Scalise.
"I think that maybe that bill will someday pass, but it should pass as a separate [bill]," Trump said. "If you're going to put concealed carry between states into this bill, we're talking about a whole new ball game … You'll never get it passed."
Trump said that he would support the bill as long as it is separate. But combining it with a background check bill, he argued, would prevent Congress from passing any legislation.
Florida Republican Rep. John Rutherford also pushed national reciprocity at the meeting.
Rutherford told Trump that, while background checks and laws about who can buy a gun are important, when the system breaks down, someone can go into a gun-free zone and kill defenseless people.
Trump appeared receptive to this point. Rutherford then explained that he concealed carries because he does not know where all the gun-free zones are.
After a brief cross-talk on gun-free zones, Rutherford suggested looking back at national reciprocity. Trump maintained that would not be on the table for now.
"You're not going to get concealed carry approved. Amy [Klobuchar], Dianne [Feinstein], and a lot of other people, they're never going to consider it," Trump said.
"People may consider it, but they're not going to consider it in this bill," he said.