As the debate ratchets up over how to improve school safety and best move forward with gun control policies that are actually effective while still protecting Americans’ Second Amendment rights, President Trump has weighed in several times on the issue, including making some off-hand comments about due process that set off alarms among Second Amendment advocates but then quieting most of those fears by emphasizing his “respect” for the Second Amendment. So as more ideas about various potential laws addressing gun violence have emerged, where does Trump stand now?
In a series of tweets on Monday, Trump spelled out his position on several potential policies, including background checks, bump stocks, security at schools, concealed carry for teachers, gun free zones, and raising age limits for the purchase of guns.
Trump led with his support for “strengthening” background checks. “Very strong improvement and strengthening of background checks will be fully backed by White House. Legislation moving forward,” he wrote.
As he’s stated in the past, he is fully on board with the banning of bump stocks, which were used in the Las Vegas shooting. “Bump Stocks will soon be out,” he wrote.
He then addressed the issue of beefing up security at schools, which is the focus of a bill the House is set to vote on this week. “Highly trained expert teachers will be allowed to conceal carry, subject to State Law. Armed guards OK, deterrent!,” he wrote. He returned the deterrent theme in another tweet in which he condemned the concept of “gun free zones,” writing, “If schools are mandated to be gun free zones, violence and danger are given an open invitation to enter. Almost all school shootings are in gun free zones. Cowards will only go where there is no deterrent!”
One issue about which he said he is still uncertain is the idea of raising age restrictions for the purchase of weapons, though he suggested that it was likely a no-go anyhow. “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),” he wrote.
The House is set to vote this week on the STOP School Violence Act of 2018, which will facilitate training and offer resources for both school officials and local law enforcement in responding to mental health issues and provide funding for increased security measures, like metal detectors.
On the issue of raising age restrictions, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also addressed the lack of congressional support in a press conference on Monday:
And, of course, a representative of Trump’s mortal enemy, “Fake News CNN,” promptly accused the White House of “laying the blame” on Congress for not raising the age limit:
As Twitchy highlights, Twitterers graciously reminded Cillizza that the only way a law is passed is if it has enough congressional support.