President Trump is scheduled to speak to the
The shooting that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14 touched off a nationwide student-run movement for tighter gun control and stricter background checks. Though the students
Trump, for his part, offered a number of extemporaneous and contradictory thoughts on gun control measures in the tragedy’s aftermath. But as the media’s gaze turned away from Parkland, Trump, who became the first sitting president to address the NRA’s annual convention last year, walked back his intention to “stand up” to the gun lobby.
So, what’s still on the table after Parkland? What did Trump claim he would support? And what didn’t happen? The place to start is the
In several uncharacteristic moments, Trump proposed measures to protect Americans from gun violence that more commonly have been raised by Democrats: raising the age limit for purchasing assault rifles to 21, giving law enforcement the authority to confiscate guns from suspicious citizens even if they have not broken any laws, preventing known domestic abusers from purchasing guns and rejecting reciprocity for gun owners with concealed-carry permits across state lines.
But Trump also offered a few suggestions that traditionally have been advanced by conservatives and gun rights groups, specifically outlawing gun-free zones and cracking down on the black market in weapons among criminal gangs. Gun control groups, such as
Little has changed since that February meeting with Congress. Trump appeared to start backing off his calls for stricter gun control the very next day after meeting with NRA lobbyist Chris Cox in the Oval Office. Both tweeted about the meeting.
On March, 12, in a pair of tweets, Trump said he backed improving background checks, but he would not pursue his proposal to raise the minimum age for purchasing an assault rifle from 18 to 21 anytime soon.
Arming teachers was perhaps the most controversial proposal Trump offered. He said that teachers who “really have that aptitude” should have concealed carry permits for inside school buildings. Echoing NRA rhetoric, he said this would transform schools into “hardened targets.”
“And what I would recommend doing is the people that do carry, we give them a bonus. We give them a little bit of a bonus. Frankly, they’d feel more comfortable having a gun anyway. But you give them a little bit of a bonus,” Trump said on Feb. 22 in a meeting with local and state officials. “So practically for free, you have now made the school into a hardened target.”
He repeated similar claims on Twitter.
Not much has happened on that front nationally, except for a vigorous public debate and the
But the president also vowed multiple times that he would ban “bump stocks,” accessories that let semiautomatic rifles fire faster. Twelve of the rifles that the Las Vegas shooter had in his hotel room were reportedly modified with these attachments.
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