First Daughter and advisor to the president Ivanka Trump — who is known to have the ear of the president — is quietly speaking to Congress to help craft passable gun control measures, according to Axios.
Aside from her inside dealings, Ivanka has publicly pushed “red flag” laws and stricter background checks.
“Ivanka Trump spoke last Wednesday to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), while he was vacationing in Hawaii, to get an update on the bipartisan background checks bill he proposed with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.),” Axios reports. “The measure, which was initially introduced in 2013 after the Sandy Hook shooting, would expand background checks to nearly all commercial firearm sales.”
An aide for the West Virginia Democrat told the outlet that Ivanka “called Manchin and said she was trying to get a sense of what bills are out there. She had him explain how they drafted the bill, where it stands and what changes needed to be made in order for it to pass.”
Ivanka “has trusted relationships on both sides of the aisle and she is working in concert with the White House policy and legislative teams,” a White House official told Axios.
In the wake of the El Paso and Dayton shootings, Ivanka took to social media to voice her support for gun control measures, while stressing that she is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, a common refrain of most gun control proponents.
In an Instagram story, for example, the president’s daughter urged Congress to “enact Red Flag laws/Extreme Risk Protection Orders in every state, increase resources dedicated to mental health support nationwide and close background check loopholes. … You can strongly support and defend the 2nd Amendment while calling for these common sense, and long-overdue reforms.”
Similarly, in a tweet posted last Sunday, Ivanka wrote, “Congress should enact Red Flag laws/ Extreme Risk Protection Orders in EVERY state and increase resources dedicated to mental health support.”
Congress should enact Red Flag laws/ Extreme Risk Protection Orders in EVERY state and increase resources dedicated to mental health support. https://t.co/YWgccND8dH
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 4, 2019
However, there is no evidence that red flag laws are effective and opponents warn that they would violate due process rights. According to National Review, data from 1970 through 2017 shows that red flag laws “had no significant effect on murder, suicide, mass-public-shooting fatalities, robbery, aggravated assault, or burglary. These laws do not save lives.”
As Dana Loesch wrote at The Federalist, the measures are “an abrogation of due process to invert the order of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ to ‘somewhat guilty until proven innocent.'” The Daily Wire’s Josh Hammer added (emphasis added) that advocates for such laws “argue that the burden of proof must still fall on the party petitioning to confiscate the respondent’s firearms — but the procedural reality is that the petitioner is still the first mover and, after that initial move, the onus shifts to the respondent to demonstrate his innocence. That is hardly an exemplary means by which to dispense with a cherished constitutional liberty, and it is made even more egregious in the context of ’emergency’ ex parte (i.e., one-party) proceedings — which GVRO advocates concede will be a reality.”
As for stricter background checks, according to CNN, they would not have stopped the two mass shootings that have animated Ivanka to quietly press her agenda on Congress.
“Would strengthening or expanding background checks have prevented the alleged shooters from purchasing firearms?” CNN posed. The network’s fact-check admitted that this was “doubtful”:
There is no indication that the shooting in Dayton, Ohio, would have been prevented by proposed universal background checks or legislation to bolster the federal background check system. The alleged El Paso, Texas, shooter purchased his firearm legally and there is no evidence that he had a criminal history that a background check would’ve caught.
For Republicans and conservatives who oppose crackdowns on the Second Amendment, Ivanka’s involvement will be cause for concern. First, she has the ear of the president, that much is indisputable. Ivanka told The New York Times in May 2017 about conversations with her father: “I’ll go to the mat on certain issues and I may still lose those. But maybe along the way I’ve modified a position just slightly. And that’s just great.” The Times report added: “Mr. Trump summons Ms. Trump to the Oval Office to ask her questions and hear her ideas. (She calls him ‘Dad,’ not ‘Mr. President.’) If he asks his daughter about an unfamiliar subject more than twice, she will often do research so she can develop a view. Sometimes she seeks out Mr. Trump, telling other staff members, ‘I need 10 minutes alone with my father.'”
Additionally, according to Eric Trump, President Donald Trump’s second son, it was Ivanka who “influenced” the president to act in Syria: “Donald Trump’s decision to bomb Syria was influenced by his daughter, Ivanka, being ‘heartbroken and outraged’ at the country’s alleged chemical weapons attack, one of the president’s sons told a British newspaper,” NBC News noted in April 2017.