Trump backtracks on guns

Source:Reuters Published: 2018/3/13 22:13:39

Proposal skips raising minimum age for purchases

Under pressure from gun rights groups, President Donald Trump backed away on Monday from raising the minimum age for gun purchases from 18 to 21, one of several measures he had supported after the latest US school shooting.

The proposal to raise the minimum age for buying guns from 18 to 21 was not part of a modest set of Trump administration school safety plans announced on Sunday and which were closely aligned with National Rifle Association (NRA) positions.

The administration plan also included training teachers to carry guns in schools, an idea already in place in some states and backed by the powerful gun lobby.

"On 18 to 21 Age Limits, watching court cases and rulings before acting. States are making this decision. Things are moving rapidly on this, but not much political support [to put it mildly]," Trump wrote on Twitter.

Florida last week adopted new gun regulations, triggering a federal lawsuit from the NRA to block raising the minimum age for buying long guns.

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 in Florida, on February 14.

The shootings reignited fierce debate in the US, and Trump stunned members of Congress during White House meetings by endorsing proposals long opposed by his fellow Republicans and accusing lawmakers of being afraid of the NRA.

However, the measures proposed by the White House on Sunday night were weaker than some of the more sweeping changes Trump had embraced during his televised meetings on the issue.

White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said Trump still backs some of those changes, including new age limits, but is focusing on measures that can get through the US Congress.

"Right now the president's primary focus is on pushing through things that we know have broad bipartisan support or things that we can do from an administrative perspective, that we can do immediately," she said at a news briefing.

Posted in: AMERICAS

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