Trump Plan Stresses Guns in Schools, Drops Age Limit

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Photo by Michael Vadon via Flickr

A White House plan to reduce gun violence at schools includes spending federal money on training school staffers to carry concealed weapons, but not President Trump’s earlier call to raise the age limit for buying guns, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Instead, the plan announced Sunday would create a federal panel to study age restrictions and other potential changes in laws and to make recommendations later. The White House blueprint calls for “hardening our schools” by instituting security procedures comparable to those in airports, sports stadiums and government buildings.

One way to do that, the White House said, is to use Justice Department grants to train school personnel to carry weapons “on a voluntary basis.”

The White House also backs legislation by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) to improve background checks for gun purchases. Cornyn says he has the 60 votes necessary to pass the measure in the Senate. The Trump plan includes calling on states to allow police, with court approval, to remove firearms from people who are a threat to themselves or others, and to ban “bump stock” devices that allow some firearms to function as machine guns.

The new commission, headed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, also will study the effects of violent video games and other entertainment and press coverage of mass shootings. “There’s no time to waste,” DeVos said.

The commission was announced a day after Trump, in a Pennsylvania campaign rally, ridiculed similar panels that “meet and they have a meal and they talk … We can’t just keep setting up blue-ribbon committees.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) criticized the Trump proposal as “tiny baby steps” and said Democrats would press for expanded background checks, federal legislation on protection orders, and a ban on assault weapons.

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