Trump Backpedals on Firearm Purchase Age, Supports Arming Teachers

HeadlineMar 12, 2018
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President Trump on Sunday walked back his support for gun control measures that would increase the age that a person can purchase a firearm from 18 to 21. The reversal came as the Trump administration said Sunday it will seek to arm and train teachers and school staffers with concealed weapons, while making modest changes to NICS—a federal program providing instant criminal background checks for some gun buyers. The proposal does not call for universal background checks. Trump’s reversal comes less than two weeks after he publicly proposed raising the minimum age of firearm purchases.

President Donald Trump: “Think of it. You can buy a handgun. You can buy one, but you have to wait 'til you're 21. But you can buy the kind of weapon used in the school shooting at 18. I think it’s something you have to think about.”

Trump’s plan also calls for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to head a commission that will recommend ways to harden schools against mass shootings like last month’s massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people. The commission was announced less than 24 hours after Trump told a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, “We can’t just keep setting up blue-ribbon committees.”

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