WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump stated Monday that he’s “watching courtroom circumstances and rulings” earlier than taking motion on elevating age limits for buying some firearms, arguing that there’s “not a lot political assist (to place it mildly).”
Trump’s tweet got here after his White House put out a plan to fight college shootings that doesn’t improve the minimal age for buying assault weapons to 21 — an thought Trump publicly favored simply final month — and leaves the query of arming teachers to states and native communities.
Instead, a brand new federal fee on college security will study the age difficulty as a part of a bundle the White House introduced Sunday in response to the college capturing in Parkland, Florida, final month that left 17 useless.
At a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, Trump criticized coverage commissions whereas talking concerning the opioid drawback, saying, “We cannot simply preserve organising blue-ribbon committees.”
On Twitter on Monday, Trump described the college capturing effort as a “very sturdy enchancment” and stated, “Armed guards OK, deterrent!” On age limits, he stated: “watching courtroom circumstances and rulings earlier than appearing. States are making this choice. Things are shifting quickly on this, however not a lot political assist (to place it mildly).”
The president shortly drew Democratic criticism over age limits. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., tweeted that Trump “could not even summon the political braveness to suggest elevating the age restrict on firearm purchases – regardless of repeated guarantees to assist such a step at a gathering with lawmakers.”
For now, the White House is backing a modest background verify invoice and a college security measure, which each are anticipated to have widespread bipartisan assist— regardless that some Republicans object and plenty of Democrats say they’re inadequate.
Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who wrote the college security invoice, tweeted he was “grateful” for the White House backing, calling the measure “the perfect first step we will take” to make college students safer.
The president on Monday additionally repeated his criticism of conserving weapons out of faculties, tweeting: “If faculties are mandated to be gun free zones, violence and hazard are given an open invitation to enter. Almost all college shootings are in gun free zones. Cowards will solely go the place there isn’t any deterrent!”
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who on Sunday known as the proposal “significant actions, steps that may be taken immediately to assist shield college students,” stated Monday that the plan was “step one in a extra prolonged course of.”
No deadline was set for the fee’s suggestions, however officers anticipated them inside a 12 months.
Pressed repeatedly Monday on NBC about why the White House backed off Trump’s assist for growing the minimal age for buying assault-style weapons, DeVos stated that “all the pieces is on the desk,” stressing that the fee will examine a variety of points.
The administration additionally pledged to assist states pay for firearms coaching for teachers and reiterated its name to enhance the background verify and psychological well being techniques.
DeVos declined to say what number of teachers ought to be armed.
“This is a matter that’s finest determined by native communities and by states,” DeVos stated on NBC. “It’s not going to be applicable in each location, however it will be applicable in some locations.”
The plan was instantly panned by gun management advocates, together with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
“Americans anticipating actual management to forestall gun violence can be dissatisfied and troubled by President Trump’s harmful retreat from his promise,” stated Avery Gardiner, the group’s co-president.
Trump was moved by the Florida college capturing and convened a sequence of listening periods within the weeks after the bloodbath. In televised conferences with lawmakers, survivors of latest college shootings and the households of victims, Trump made a powerful case for arming teachers and for growing the age for buying lengthy weapons.
“I imply, so that they purchase a revolver — a handgun — they purchase on the age of 21. And but these different weapons that we discuss … they’re allowed to purchase them at 18. So how does that make sense?” he informed college officers final month. “We’re going to work on getting the age as much as 21 as a substitute of 18.”
But Trump has additionally spoken repeatedly in latest weeks with the heads of the highly effective National Rifle Association, which considers growing the age of buy to be an assault on the Second Amendment. The NRA on Friday sued Florida over a brand new gun regulation signed by Republican Gov. Rick Scott that bans the acquisition of firearms by anybody underneath the age of 21.
During the conferences, Trump additionally advocated arming sure teachers and college staffers, arguing that gun-free faculties are “like an invite for these very sick individuals” to commit homicide.
As a part of the plan, the White House has directed the Justice Department to assist states accomplice with native regulation enforcement to offer “rigorous firearms coaching to particularly certified volunteer college personnel,” stated Andrew Bremberg, director of the president’s Domestic Policy Council. The White House didn’t instantly say how a lot cash can be made obtainable.
Trump additionally known as on states to go court-issued Risk Protection Orders, which permit regulation enforcement to confiscate weapons from people who pose dangers to themselves and others, and briefly stop them from shopping for firearms. And he known as for the reform and growth of psychological well being applications, in addition to a full audit and assessment of the FBI tip line. The bureau has been criticized for not following up on warnings concerning the suspect within the Parkland college capturing.
Follow Colvin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/colvinj