Trump lowers gun sights

World | 14 Mar 2018

President Donald Trump stood accused yesterday of caving in to the US gun lobby a month after the Florida school shootings.

The White House pushed on with plans to arm teachers but backpedaled on curbing access to assault rifles.

Under pressure to act after a teenager killed 17 people with a semi-automatic rifle in Parkland, Trump had signaled support for raising from 18 to 21 the minimum age for purchasing the powerful weapons.

But a new policy statement focuses on Trump's idea of arming teachers, "making sure our schools are safe and secure, just like our airports, stadiums and government buildings."

On age limits, it said only that the government will form a commission on school safety. There was no mention of expanding the vetting of firearms buyers to sales online and at gun shows - another idea floated by the White House.

But the policy plan did endorse minor legislation to improve databases used for background checks by dealers.

The ideas are closely in line with what the National Rifle Association, the powerful lobby that fights any gun restrictions, will accept.


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