Trump allies, though, insist the president is sincere in his desire to enact some kind of measure that would, at a minimum, strengthen background checks.

They say that Trump is so trusted by his base — who assume he is four-square behind the Second Amendment’s guarantee of a right to bear arms — that he could sell a deal in ways that other politicians, or past presidents, could not.

“Only Nixon could go to China and only President Trump — irrevocably a supporter of the Second Amendment — could do something to address these tragic gun crimes,” said Michael Caputo, a long-standing Trump friend and ally. “I think it is a sincere desire and I know that he personally recognizes this is a dire issue.”