White House Releases New Details on School Safety Agenda

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 14, 2018

In his final recommendations, Trump, who had initially said he favored raising the age limit from 18 to 21 on long guns, did not include that restriction in his plans.

With White House support, Congress is considering bills to provide additional funds to "harden" schools through training and perhaps some building upgrades.

The president tweeted that there was not much political support for raising the minimum age on weapons sales.

The Republican president, who championed gun rights during his 2016 campaign, vowed to take action to prevent school shootings after a gunman killed 17 students and faculty at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on February 14.

The 19-year-old suspect - who allegedly used a legally purchased semi-automatic rifle to attack Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School - is charged with 17 counts of murder.

The proposals advanced in a White House plan revealed Sunday included little that would bother the NRA.

As for federal age limits on gun purchases, it only said the government would form a special commission on school safety, with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in charge.

Trump tweeted that he's "watching court cases and rulings" before proposing an age increase, but he noted there's "not much political support (to put it mildly)". Back in February he said the NRA will back it. Florida decided to make that move and the NRA is suing the state of Florida. On three points of his plan, Trump touted success: his plan to arm some teachers is moving forward, the Justice Department moved to ban so-called "bump stocks", and he is fully supportive of strengthening background checks.

The White House called on Congress to pass a second bill that would create a federal grant program to train students, teachers and school officials how to identify signs of potential violence and intervene early. "He backed off his openness toward an assault weapons ban, support for expanded background checks, barring those who exhibit "red flags" from buying guns and raising the age to buy an assault weapons to 21". 'I think what Senator Feinstein is asking there - when we talk about just DACA, we don't want to be back here two years later. "So how does that make sense?" he told school officials last month.

"It totally eviscerates the right of law-abiding adults between the ages of 18 and 21 to keep and bear arms", the NRA said. He and Republican leaders in Congress have been afraid to cross the National Rifle Association ahead of the November midterm elections because the gun lobby has always been a powerful force mobilizing conservative activists in elections.

"Because you're afraid of the NRA (National Rifle Association)".

However, Mr Trump himself came under pressure from the country's top gun lobby not to change existing legislation.

The President who shocked the world by being willing to meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and by demanding tariffs against United States allies, doesn't seem to have the same zeal when it comes to arguing and issue that risks angering his own grass roots supporters.

Since then, the president has gradually backed off the idea of gun purchase age limits. The lobby argues the bill violates the USA constitution. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, dismissed the measures as "baby steps designed not to upset NRA".

"It was deeply personal for me as you note standing at the Western Wall in a moment of privacy, because it was really just us, it was our family that was there", she said.

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