Trump's plan will seek to 'harden' schools against shootings

Published on Sunday, 11 March 2018 19:26
Written by The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump’s plan to combat school shootings will include a call on states to increase the minimum age for purchasing assault weapons and an effort to “harden” schools so they’re less vulnerable to attacks.

White House spokesman Raj Shah says the president will not advocate “universal” background checks, but will reiterate his support for a bill that would promote better information-sharing. The president will also be convening a task force to further study the issue.

“There’s going to be a series of proposals,” Shah said on ABC’s “This Week” in an interview Sunday. “Some will be legislative, some will be administrative and some will be recommendations for states as well as a task force to study this issue in more depth and make more additional policy recommendations. So it’s going to be consistent with what the president has talked about.”

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

In the weeks since the massacre, Trump has held listening sessions with lawmakers, survivors of recent school shootings and the families of victims. He’s also met and spoken with the heads of the powerful National Rifle Association. The NRA on Friday sued Florida over a new gun law signed by Republican Gov. Rick Scott that bans the purchase of firearms by anyone under the age of 21.

During those meetings, Trump advocated arming certain teachers and school staffers, arguing that gun-free schools are “like an invitation for these very sick people” to commit murder.

“If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could end the attack very quickly,” he has said.

The idea, which was panned by Democrats and teachers’ unions, but is popular with gun advocates, is expected to be included in the plan.

During the often free-wheeling conversations, Trump also seemed to voice support for “universal” background checks, which would apply to private gun sales and those at gun shows, instead of just from licensed dealers. He also raised eyebrows by suggesting that law enforcement officials should be able to confiscate guns from those they deem a safety risk even before a court has weighed in.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Nation-World on Sunday, 11 March 2018 19:26. Updated: Sunday, 11 March 2018 19:29.