Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Trump puts off action on gun control till court decision

Trump puts off action on gun control till court decision

There were some good ideas in the president's plan.

The commission will push to arm teachers in classrooms.

Earlier Monday White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said raising the age limit for the purchase of some firearms wasn't completely off the table, though the Trump administration dropped its support for the restrictions.

The plan forgoes an endorsement of comprehensive background checks for gun purchases, which the president, at times, seemed to embrace. Because for example with the age limit question as you've reported the president, he's not taking on that issue head on anymore but instead assigning that to a new federal commission on school safety chaired by Secretary DeVos.

"Now, this is not a popular thing to say, in terms of the NRA". She described the plan as "pragmatic". But the Trump plan falls far short of additional steps needed to curb gun violence.

"Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it", Trump famously said in accepting the GOP nomination in 2016.

Michael A. Cohen, a Trump critic who accused the president of having "no core principles", said he's not surprised by the constant shifts. "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". Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey, the men he maligned for supposedly being cowed by the gun lobby: "I'd rather have you come up with a strong, strong bill. So how does that make sense?" he told school officials last month.

Almost 70 percent of the public, including most Republicans, favors raising the age for gun purchases from 18 to 21.

Gun control advocates said the reason for Trump's retreat is obvious: He caved to the National Rifle Association.

When Republican Senator Pat Toomey said he opposed raising the minimum age for gun purchases, Trump had sharp words for him.

"Let's not forget that the Obama administration had the White House and all of Congress for two years and didn't do anything", she said.

The Justice Department will also provide an unspecified amount of grants to states that want to train teachers to carry guns in school.

The result was the set of proposals that emerged Sunday, which calls for federal spending to help states train school staff in firearms use; allow military veterans and retired police officers to work as school safety officers; support for a watered-down bill to improve background checks; a call to states to allow judges to approve seizing weapons from people who pose a "red-flag" threat to themselves or others; and a ban on "bump stock" devices that allow semiautomatic weapons to fire almost as rapidly as automatic weapons.

Trump also called on states to pass temporary, court-issued Risk Protection Orders, which allow law enforcement to confiscate guns from individuals who pose risks to themselves and others, and temporarily prevent them from buying firearms. And he called for the reform and expansion of mental health programs, as well as a full audit and review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation tip line.

Trump Sunday unveiled long-awaited policy plans supposedly created to combat the plague of mass shootings in American schools. She said the president wanted to expedite the court process, not circumvent it.

Sessions directed federal agencies to verify within 45 days that they are in full compliance or plan to become compliant with an existing law requiring agencies to report relevant records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

That followed similar promises to protect those DREAMers that Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Trump made them during a White House dinner in September.

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