President Donald Trump confirmed Monday morning that his administration would back away from a proposal to raise the minimum age at which Americans are allowed to buy certain firearms, conceding that there is “not much political support” for such a step.
Trump had previously proposed raising to 21 the legal age for purchasing certain types of guns, including assault-style rifles like the one used in last month’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The president’s proposal was met with pushback from the NRA and was left off of a list of recommendations to stop school shootings released on Sunday by the White House.
“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),” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Before conceding on raising the age limit for the purchase of certain guns, Trump had publicly chided members of his own party, telling GOP lawmakers at a White House meeting that they were “afraid of the NRA.”
In an earlier tweet, the president touted other steps that his administration still intends to pursue, including “very strong improvement and strengthening of background checks” and the banning of bump stocks, a device used last year by a mass shooter in Las Vegas that allows a semi-automatic weapon to function essentially as an automatic one. “Highly trained expert teachers will be allowed to conceal carry, subject to state law,” the president said, a step he has argued will harden schools against shooters and deter attacks.
While Trump has backed away from his support for raising the age at which certain guns can be purchased to 21, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation earlier this month doing just that, as well as banning bump stocks, funding mental health programs in schools and instituting a three-day waiting period for the purchase of firearms. The bill, which has prompted the NRA to sue the state of Florida in order to block its implementation, also allows willing teachers to carry a firearm inside schools.