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

White House hails Donald Trump's anti-terror efforts

White House hails Donald Trump's anti-terror efforts

President Donald Trump stood accused yesterday of caving in to the USA gun lobby one month after the Florida school shooting, as the White House pushed ahead with plans to arm teachers but backpedaled on curbing access to assault rifles.

"The notion that my kids are going to school with teachers that are armed with a weapon is not something that, quite frankly, I'm comfortable with", the Republican 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 administration's proposals includes backing the so-called Fix NICS bill, which seeks to improve National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. "Two hours later, then they write a report", he said, referring to the use of blue-ribbon commissions in dealing with drug dealers.

Sessions also called on federal prosecutors to "swiftly and aggressively" prosecute people who are prohibited from possessing firearms but lie to deceive the federal background system when attempting to purchase one.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump "hasn't backed away" from his support of expanding background checks or raising the age limit on gun purchases, although neither were addressed in a plan the administration rolled out Sunday night.

The administration seeks to take action after the February 14 high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, where a gunman with an AR-15-style rifle killed 17 people.

The president has reiterated his support for strengthening background checks, arming school officials and banning bump stocks. A HuffPost/YouGov poll taken soon after Trump's initial comments shows that most of the nation, including much of the GOP, was willing to go along with numerous gun control measures he briefly supported.

As former President Barack Obama began charting his course to the presidency, GOP support for gun control plummeted, thanks to rhetoric from the NRA that stoked fears about sweeping gun restrictions but often seemed disproportionate to the reforms Obama actually proposed. "Responding to the murders of 17 students and educators by endorsing the gun lobby's platform is abdication of the president's responsibility to lead".

"Well, he talked a big game, challenging both Republicans and Democrats to not be fearful of the NRA and certainly he's rolled back his commitments", said Murphy.

Instead, a new federal commission on school safety will examine the age issue, as well as a long list of others topics, as part of a longer-term look at school safety and violence. "So what he is pushing forward are things that can immediately be accomplished, either through the administration or that have broad base bipartisan support in Congress".

While some gun control advocates welcomed the move, others argued that it would still be better for Congress to pass legislation banning the devices.

Trump announced he would not support raising the minimum federal age for purchasing an assault weapon to 21 and laid out his reasoning for that decision on Twitter Monday. And a pattern is starting to emerge on how to read Trump's wild spins on divisive issues: When it comes time for the White House to put its own ideas in writing, he'll land to the right of most of Washington, no matter how he seemed to be at the center or left just a few days before.

Mr Trump tweeted on Monday: "On 18 to 21 Age Limits, watching court cases and rulings before acting". 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.

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