Business Standard

White House backs off on assault rifle curbs

IANS  |  Washington 

The has backed off from earlier call to raise the minimum age to purchase assault rifles to 21 years from 18 years.

The laid out a series of proposals on Sunday that it said intended to pursue to increase school safety following the school shooting in February. However, the proposals did not address the minimum age for gun purchases, Post reported.

said on Sunday that he would work to raise the age limit and will establish a Federal Commission on School Safety, to be chaired by Betsy DeVos, that will explore regarding the age requirement for gun purchases.

A senior administration official, when pressed by reporters about the apparent backtracking, said the age issue was "a state-based discussion right now" and would be explored by

The said he was planning to move ahead with his "contentious" proposal to provide firearms training to school employees.

The said it wanted to partner with local officials to provide "rigorous firearms training" to school personnel, including teachers and other volunteers who want such training. first proposed the idea after a 19-year-old man gunned down 17 people at in Florida, Parkland, in February.

The massacre spurred officials in to re-evaluate gun laws.

Other proposals included encouraging military veterans and retired police officers to become teachers and improving background and mental health checks.

DeVos said the proposals were "meaningful actions, steps that can be taken right away to help protect students".

"We are committed to working quickly because there's no time to waste," she said. Invoking past mass school shootings, she continued, "No student, no family, no and no school should have to live the horror of Parkland or or Columbine again".

Democratic lawmakers and gun-control advocates accused Trump of succumbing to pressure from the (NRA) and other special interest groups.

"The White House has taken tiny baby steps designed not to upset the NRA, when the gun violence epidemic in this country demands that giant steps be taken," said in a statement.

"Democrats in the will push to go further including passing universal background checks, actual federal legislation on protection orders, and a debate on banning assault weapons," he said.

Avery Gardiner, co-of the to Prevent Gun Violence, said: "Americans expecting real leadership to prevent gun violence will be disappointed and troubled by President Trump's dangerous retreat from his promise".



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 20:16 IST