The White House on Sunday night officially set out the details of what policy changes President Donald Trump would support in the aftermath of a February 14 mass shooting at a Florida high school, as the President will back ideas like training for certain teachers and school personnel to carry concealed weapons, and funneling more mental health information into the background check system for gun buyers, but Mr. Trump will not propose more controversial measures such as raising the minimum age for gun purchases.
The idea of raising the gun purchase age from 18 to 21 years – signed into law by the Governor of Florida on Friday – will instead get a review by a special blue ribbon panel being set up by the President.
The age limit increase in Florida has already been hit with a federal lawsuit by the National Rifle Association.
Other issues to be reviewed by the new Trump commission include looking at ‘best practices for school buildings and campus security,’ and the repeal of an Obama Administration policies known as “Rethink School Discipline.”
“Today we are announcing meaningful actions, steps that can be taken right away to help protect students,” said Secretary of Education Bety DeVos, who will lead the new commission.
That new panel would not study a broader approach to toughen the instant check system on gun buyers, an idea known as ‘universal background checks,’ something the President enthusiastically backed at a meeting with lawmakers a few weeks ago – but then backed away from after a meeting with top NRA officials.
Mr. Trump’s commission is also being tasked to look at violent videos games, and the “effects of press coverage on mass shootings.”
In terms of legislation, the President’s plans include supporting the bipartisan “Fix NICS” bill, and another plan backed by members of both parties to send more money to the states to help schools prepare for possible threats.
That wasn’t enough for some Democrats.
“While I proudly support both bills, they only scratch the surface of what’s needed to address our gun violence epidemic,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Mr. Trump is also urging states to adopt “Extreme Risk Protection Orders,” to give families and police more time to prevent individuals with mental health and other problems from buying or possessing a firearm.
“I applaud the President for supporting many of the initiatives I have offered that will promote gun safety, including incentivizing states to adopt Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) and the Stop School Violence Act,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).