MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the president recognized the bravery of first responders during the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, several of the nation’s mayors met behind the scenes to push the White House on background checks.
“You’ve got to start with universal background checks,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “The American people agree with it, so it is an action that will save lives.”
Whaley also joined Democrats on Capitol Hill to demand the senate take up the universal background checks bill the House has already passed.
The mayors, including several from South Florida with the Parkland massacre and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport shooting etched in their resolve, met with White House policy makers.
“We are here pushing the universal background check. We had a very open dialogue back and forth,” said Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky. “The main policy makers from the administration said that everything was on the table and they were very open to us.
“Kellyanne Conway and other officials at the White House were very attentive,” said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. “They basically assured us that there were many options that they were exploring that were on the table and the president will be unrolling what his package will be shortly.”
But standing in the way of the mayors and their background check crusade: the president and senate majority leader.
“We are talking about a lot of different things, but at the same time we have to protect our Second Amendment very strongly,” said President Donald Trump.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will only move on background checks if the president gives him the OK.
Guns are a big issue in Florida, a state the president needs to win in a bid for a second term.
“In the state of Florida, 77 percent of Floridians favor a universal background checks and that is something that is supported by Republicans, Democrats and independents in great numbers,” Suarez pointed out.