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Photo: Richard Ellis/Getty Images

President Donald Trump may still be thinking about supporting expanded background checks for gun sales after all.

Driving the news: A memo titled "Idea for New Unlicensed-Commercial-Sale Background Checks" was being circulated as Attorney General Bill Barr and the White House's legislative affairs director Eric Ueland visited this week with Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Why it matters: The president was expected to say this week what, if any, gun control legislation he is prepared to support. Advocates were doubtful he would support expanded background checks because polling suggested it could hurt his standing with core supporters.

The memo, first reported by the Daily Caller and also obtained by Axios, suggests he may be open to background checks depending on feedback from Republican lawmakers.

  • The memo talks about extending a background-check requirement "to all advertised commercial sales, including sales at gun shows."
  • It would be consistent with the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey draft legislation.
  • It would impose civil penalties for failure to keep necessary records.

Where it stands: The president has not said publicly whether he supports the proposal in the memo or is just shopping it. White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Trump "has not signed off on anything yet" and said the memo is "not a White House document."

  • Meanwhile, the head of the NRA's lobbying arm, Jason Ouimet, said that the memo is a "nonstarter," because "it burdens law-abiding gun owners while ignoring what actually matters: fixing the broken mental health system and the prosecution of violent criminals."

Read the memo:

Editor's note: This story has been updated with responses from the White House and the NRA.

Go deeper

Senate confirms former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as energy secretary

Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate voted 64-35 on Thursday to confirm former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as secretary of the Department of Energy.

Why it matters: Granholm, only the second woman to head the department, will play a key role in President Biden’s efforts to accelerate the U.S. shift to clean energy and help other countries do the same.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: How data and the pandemic have democratized the "high-performance lifestyle — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: Pfizer begins study on 3rd vaccine dose as booster shot against new strains — Republicans are least likely to want the coronavirus vaccine
  3. U.S. news: California surpasses 50,000 deaths COVID-19 deaths, more than any other state — Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter return to church after receiving COVID-19 vaccines
  4. Local: Public transit ridership in Twin Cities dropped 53% amid pandemic — Data firm predicts "complete chaos" in next phases of Florida's vaccine rolloutAlaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy tests positive for the coronavirus

Acting Capitol Police chief: Phone logs show Jan. 6 National Guard approval was delayed

Pittman at a congressional tribute for fallen officer Brian Sicknick. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman testified on Thursday that cellphone records show former USCP chief Steven Sund requested National Guard support from the House sergeant-at-arms as early as 12:58pm on Jan. 6, but he did not receive approval until over an hour later.

Why it matters: Sund and former House sergeant-at-arms Paul Irving clashed at a Senate hearing on Tuesday over a dispute in the timeline for when Capitol Police requested the National Guard during the Capitol insurrection.