- The Washington Times - Monday, March 12, 2018

President Trump said Monday his plan to arm more teachers will help to prevent school shootings, a day after the administration unveiled his official proposals to combat school violence.

“Highly trained expert teachers will be allowed to conceal carry, subject to State Law. Armed guards OK, deterrent!” the president tweeted.

The president also noted that he’s holding off on a proposal to raise the legal age for purchasing certain firearms from 18 to 21.

“On 18 to 21 Age Limits, watching court cases and rulings before acting. States are making this decision. Things are moving rapidly on this, but not much political support (to put it mildly),” the president tweeted.

Florida, which enacted a gun law raising the age limit to 21, was sued by the National Rifle Association on Friday.

Senior administration officials said the federal government intends to help provide “robust” firearms training for qualified teachers and other school personnel in the wake of the Florida high school massacre last month.

The president also is endorsing a bill to encourage greater reporting of criminal convictions to an FBI database that is used to stop firearms purchases by people who are not allowed by law to own guns.

“Very strong improvement and strengthening of background checks will be fully backed by White House. Legislation moving forward,” Mr. Trump tweeted.

The president also said bump stocks, accessories that enable a semi-automatic rifle to fire more rapidly, “will soon be out.” The Justice Department took regulatory steps last weekend to officially ban the devices.

Among the administration’s proposals is establishing a federal commission to study school safety. It will be headed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Gun-control groups are criticizing the president’s plan as weak, and say it shows that Mr. Trump didn’t want to anger the NRA.

“Americans expecting real leadership to prevent gun violence will be disappointed and troubled by President Trump’s dangerous retreat from his promise to break the Washington gridlock around gun violence and to stand up to the NRA,” said Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, called the plan “a complete failure of leadership.”

“On gun safety, they shrug and pass the buck to the states,” he said of the administration. “But when it comes to the NRA’s priorities, they’re happy to push for a federal mandate that guts state laws. Now Congress needs to get a backbone and meet the moment after Parkland, with or without the administration.”

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