Washington, March 13 (IANS) The White House has defended Donald Trump’s gun control plan, saying that the US President has not shied away from his previous support on stronger arms regulations.
“He (Trump) hasn’t backed away from these things at all… He can’t make them happen with a broad stroke of the pen. You have to have some congressional component to do some of these things. And without that support, it’s not as possible,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told a press briefing on Monday night in response to questions on whether Trump still supports raising the minimum age to purchase guns.
“The President is going to be the lead on school safety when it comes to this administration. He certainly has been since this process has begun, and he’s going to continue to lead on it as we move forward,” Sanders said.
Earlier on Monday, the White House released a plan listing Trump’s directives on gun control in the wake of a school shooting in Florida last month, reports Xinhua news agency.
The plan called for better security at schools, expanded background checks on gun buyers and more effective mental health care.
Among the measures, Trump said, the federal government would help states train school personnel to carry weapons in school on a voluntary basis and allow law enforcement, with approval from a court, to remove firearms from a person who is deemed a threat to society.
The plan has also tasked Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to formulate a report making suggestions on the minimum age to buy guns, to which Trump has voiced his support during previous meetings with shooting victims.
Short of definitely raising the age limit, Trump has been accused of “chickening out” of his promises, but Sanders said the measure is still on the table.
A 19-year-old man killed 17 people at a Florida high school on February 14 with a semi-automatic rifle, causing nationwide anger over the stagnant gun regulation reform and the main pro-gun lobby group, the National Rifle Association.
In meetings with shooting victims and lawmakers, Trump vowed to act “strong” on guns, but his proposal of arming school employees has drawn widespread opposition from educators and anti-gun activists.
In most US states, the minimum age to buy handguns is 21 and 18 for rifles.