The National Rifle Association pushed back on Sunday against modest proposals by President Donald Trump and other Republicans to change U.S. gun laws in the wake of a school shooting in Florida that killed 17 students and staff.
The powerful gun lobby group does not support Trump’s proposals to raise the age limit for buying certain types of guns and to ban bump stocks that enable semi-automatic rifles to shoot hundreds of rounds a minute, a spokeswoman said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“The NRA doesn’t back any ban,” Dana Loesch said.
Trump was endorsed by the NRA in his 2016 presidential election campaign and often trumpets his support for the constitutional right to own guns.
But the Feb. 14 massacre at a Florida high school has mobilized high school students to push for restrictions on gun sales, spurred several companies to sever ties with the NRA and energized gun-control activist groups.
As November congressional elections draw closer, Trump and Republicans are under pressure to show they are responding to concerns about school safety without angering supporters who oppose gun control.
Since the Florida shooting, Trump has declared support for raising the age limit to 21 from 18 for buying rifles. The 19-year-old shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida had bought his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle legally.
“That’s what the NRA came out and said, that’s correct,” Loesch said when pressed on whether the group opposes raising the minimum age.
Trump also has asked the Justice Department to develop a regulation that would effectively ban the sale of bump stocks, an accessory used last year by a shooter who killed 58 people at a Las Vegas outdoor concert, the deadliest attack by a single gunman in U.S. history.
Trump has also said he supports legislation to tighten background checks for gun buyers, although he has not provided specific details.
Republican Senator Pat Toomey, a sponsor of a bill that would require background checks for weapons sold at gun shows and on the internet, said Trump’s support could help advance proposals that floundered in years passed.
“Our president can play a huge and in fact probably decisive role in this. So I intend to give this another shot,” Toomey said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Legislation to close background checks loopholes failed to clear the 60-vote threshold in the U.S. Senate after a shooter killed 26 children and teachers in 2012 at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
DAYLIGHT WITH NRA?
Loesch tried to play down the emerging differences between the NRA and the White House.
“I know that people are trying to find daylight between President Trump and five million law-abiding gun owners,” she said. “He’s really looking for solutions … so far nothing’s been proposed yet.”
Tweaks to gun laws face an uphill battle among conservative Republicans in Congress. On Sunday, Representative Thomas Massie from Kentucky said he opposed changes to background check laws and other restrictions on gun ownership.
“I wish that background checks stopped criminals or stopped school shootings, but they don’t,” Massie told NBC.
Trump has strongly endorsed the idea – backed by the NRA in the wake of the Newtown shooting – of arming trained teachers with guns.
Loesch said the group believes individual schools should decide whether to arm teachers. On Saturday, Trump said on Twitter the proposal would be left “up to states.”
Loesch said more emphasis should be placed on how the FBI and local police missed warning signs and tips about the shooter, calling it an “abdication of duty.”
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has come under fire after a deputy at the school at the time of the shooting stayed outside. Several news reports said that three other deputies were slow to enter the building.
Israel said on CNN on Sunday that he had no plans to resign, and that the department would investigate all aspects of the shooting.
(Reporting by Roberta Rampton, Pete Schroeder and Yasmeen Abutaleb; Editing by Kieran Murray, Andrea Ricci and Daniel Wallis)
‘We’ve got a queer running for president!’ Tennessee official bursts into a racist, anti-gay rant at council meeting
On Monday in Sevier County, Tennessee, during a county commission meeting to discuss a pending vote to become a gun sanctuary city, Commissioner Warren Hurst exploded in a racist, homophobic tirade that stunned onlookers.
"It's time we wake up people, it's time, it's past time," said Hurst, in footage originally captured by WVLT News. "We got a queer running for president, if that ain't about as ugly as you can get. Look what we got running for president in the Democratic party. We can go over here to [Sevier County Sheriff] Hoss' jail and get better people out of there than those running for Democratic [sic] to be president of the United States."
Trump wants to wriggle out of impeachment by suing ‘everybody’ who makes him angry
President Donald Trump wants to sue his way out of impeachment, just like he got himself out of jams before he entered the White House.
The president has been obsessed with undercover recordings by the right-wing Project Veritas outfit that misleadingly suggests an anti-Trump conspiracy by CNN president Jeff Zucker, and he has been privately ranting for days about the audio and video recordings, reported The Daily Beast.
Donald Trump’s big short: Is the president profiting off the market chaos he creates?
Back in early 2018, I noticed something hinky about the confluence of Donald Trump’s blurts about his trade war with the movement of the stock market. As I wrote in this space back in August, I believe Trump or people close to Trump might be profiting off the volatility of the markets ever since the president first declared a trade war against our allies and frenemies alike.
Since the passage of the 2009 stimulus, and with the exception of 2015, the markets have been mostly climbing steadily, in a relatively smooth upward slope. This ascending trajectory continued through the first year of Trump’s presidency until suddenly we began to observe harrowing single-day declines — volatility in the form of precipitous collapses of as much as 1,175 points in the Dow.