Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Technology | By Christopher Mann

White House expected to unveil gun and school safety proposals Sunday

White House expected to unveil gun and school safety proposals Sunday

Seventeen people were shot dead at a Florida high school last month.

Mr Trump said he would work to raise the limit from 18 to 21 but his actual action plan passes the issue to a new federal commission on school safety.

"We believe this legislation is important, is useful in improving the background check system - and can pass virtually immediately if there is not obstruction in Congress", a senior administration official said on a conference call.

Trump has long criticized previous administrations for creating commissions to examine issues.

The NRA is suing Florida after it passed a state gun control law which raises the legal age for buying rifles to 21 as well as allowing for the training and arming of school staff.

Speaking last month, President Trump had appeared indignant at the fact Americans could legally buy assault rifles from the age of 18 yet had to wait until 21 to buy handguns.

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The long-awaited recommendations are expected to be laid out in more detail by the White House on Sunday evening, almost a month after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and staff dead.

Numerous student survivors have urged Washington to toughen restrictions on gun purchases, but such measures are fiercely opposed by the National Rifle Association, and the Trump plan does not include any substantial changes to gun laws.

While Trump is also calling on states to bolster background checks, and will direct the Justice Department to "provide technical assistance" to states who ask for guidance on establishing Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), he will not be proposing any sweeping, nationwide changes to strengthen the process.

The new Justice Department program announced Sunday includes help for states that provide "rigorous firearms training" to teachers and support for military veterans and retired cops who want to become teachers, Politico reports.

A senior administration official added that there are already "a multitude of programs that exist across the country where school personnel are trained in conjunction with state or local law enforcement".

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, later walked back both suggestions, saying "Universal means something different to a lot of people". John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, and Sen.

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A Republican congressman with a high ranking from the National Rifle Association, who declined to be named to avoid alienating various constituencies, said the administration's proposals are "a missed opportunity and fails to honor the victims and survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School". Chris Murphy, D-Conn., that would improve information in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Although the school safety commission has no timetable to produce recommendations, DeVos insists it's not simply a stalling tactic.

After the latter statement the president met privately with the NRA, whose leaders said he'd backed down.

A policy proposal unveiled Sunday evening has Trump renewing his support for arming teachers and other school employees on a volunteer basis. 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 has also vowed to ban the use of bump stock devices that enable guns to fire like automatic weapons. The orders would allow law enforcement officers, with approval from a court, to remove firearms from those who pose a threat to themselves or others and temporarily to prevent individuals from purchasing new firearms.

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