Republican State House leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) is walking back his claim that he went to the White House last year after the Parkland massacre and convinced Trump not to support red-flag legislation, which would allow guns to be confiscated by people deemed dangerous by a judge.
“I can’t say that I’m the guy that talked [Trump] out of it or anything, and I don’t even know if he’s still talked out of it,” Neville told KNUS host Randy Corporon Saturday.
That contradicts Neville’s comment on KNUS Aug. 9, in which he took credit for talking Trump out of supporting a red flag bill after Parkland.
“Just about eighteen months ago, I went and visited the president and actually talked him out of [supporting a red flag bill],” Neville told KNUS hosts Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden.
A call to Neville asking about the discrepancy between the two statements was not immediately returned.
A video of a meeting with Neville and Trump last February (at 26 min here) raises questions about whether Neville talked Trump out of backing the legislation, which would allow guns to be confiscated by people deemed dangerous by a judge.
As you can see in the video, Neville indeed argued against gun-safety laws in Trump’s presence in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, and Trump agreed with him. But you can’t conclude that Neville flipped Trump on the the red flag bill, which was barely mentioned. But you also can’t say Neville did not convince Trump.
It turns out that Neville flew to Washington for second meeting with Trump, about a week later, where Neville says he applied more of his persuasive prowess on Trump,
But after describing his meeting with Trump, Neville says he can’t be sure he convinced the president of his stance on the red-flag bill.
Neville’s account of his second meeting with Trump in February, 2018, on KNUS’ Randy Corporon show Saturday:
“This [meeting] was actually more private,” Neville told Corporon.
“I knew I didn’t have much time, but I knew that I had a little bit of time and had to use it properly,” said Neville on air. “And so I basically told the president, reminded the president, that everything they were talking about besides red flag was actually in place at Columbine High School, and it wouldn’t have stopped Columbine.
“You know, whether the assault weapons bans, whether it be background checks, none of that would’ve stopped Columbine, because the assault weapons ban was in place during Columbine. The background checks wouldn’t have stopped Columbine because they actually had their guns purchased through straw purchases, so it wouldn’t stop them at all.
“And so I reminded him of all that and basically told him red flag wouldn’t have stopped this either, because there’s really no way to identify these people in the manner that would actually keep in due process.
“But the other thing I told him too, is that the biggest thing that’s not being talked about is what this is going to do for the stigma for those actually seeking mental health treatment.
“And I told him a story about a friend of mine who was seeking mental health treatment through the V.A., and when Obama put in his policies administratively through the V.A. saying people that had mental illnesses couldn’t obtain their firearms. His response was to stop seeking treatment entirely. So I told him you’re gonna drive more people underground and, and they’re going to be afraid to come out and actually seek mental health treatment. You’re gonna have vets who are labeled with PTSD as though there’s some sort of crazy people that need to have their guns taken away when really they’re just trying to get some help for their PTSD and they’d probably never hurt anyone.
“I reminded him of all that and that’s about all the time I had.
“And this meeting was different. He didn’t really respond or anything. The media wasn’t there, so he just sat there and listened and then went on to the next person. And I afterwards afterwards I tried to talk to the staff and different cabinet members and stuff and really tried to push that this is a bad idea. This is a dangerous law. I think it could be turned deadly and just tried to get as much influence as I could while I was there and left, and that was really it.
“So I can’t say that I’m the guy that talked him out of it or anything, and I don’t even know if he’s still talked out of it.”
Neville on KNUS 710-AM Saturday Aug. 17.