- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 8, 2018

President Trump on Thursday praised Florida’s legislature for the gun bill it approved this week, and took credit for provisions that would allow some school staff to carry concealed weapons to be used to deter shootings.

“I guess they liked what I said,” Mr. Trump said during a meeting with his Cabinet, where he also predicted action in Congress on expanding background checks.

Florida’s House approved a bill Wednesday that raises the minimum age for purchasing rifles to 21, bringing it in line with handgun purchases; creates a minimum three-day waiting period for many gun purchases; bans bump stocks that can increase the rate of fire of semi-automatic rifles; and allows local officials to authorize some school staff to carry weapons.

Mr. Trump said he’s still pushing for action in Congress and from his own administration, vowing a national ban on bump stocks.

“Bump stocks are going to be gone,” he said.

He also said Congress must pass legislation to stiffen background checks, and insisted progress is being made.

Neither House nor Senate Republicans have announced plans for debate on a background check bill yet, though the House is expected to take up a more limited school safety bill next week. That legislation would send taxpayer money to local schools to press them to develop risk assessments and safety plans.

Mr. Trump has been pushing to have trained school faculty empowered to carry weapons, calculating that potential shooters wouldn’t try to attack a school if there were more risks to making the attempt.

The idea has been deeply controversial with many parents and students.

Florida’s bill would put the power in the hands of local officials to authorize which people to allow to carry — though regular classroom teachers would not be part of the pool of staffers allowed to have weapons.

Mr. Trump said many people were surprised that Florida included that provision, though he said he himself was not surprised.

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