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NRA pushes back on Trump’s gun plans after Florida shooting

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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.”

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“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.

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“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.

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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.”

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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(Reporting by Roberta Rampton, Pete Schroeder and Yasmeen Abutaleb; Editing by Kieran Murray, Andrea Ricci and Daniel Wallis)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Dershowitz is running a ‘bizarro defense’ of Trump: Harvard Law colleague says ‘Alan is just completely wacko’

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Two of the most famous names associated with Harvard Law School had competing appearances on MSNBC on Friday.

It began when Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus, was interviewed MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber about his new role officially representing President Donald Trump during the Senate impeachment trial.

Dershowitz claimed that neither abuse of power nor obstruction of Congress count as "high crimes" under the constitution.

Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has also been associated with Harvard Law for five decades, was asked about Dershowitz's argument during an interview with Chris Hayes.

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Why was Lev Parnas wearing a ‘Presidential Service Badge’ awarded to troops who serve in the White House?

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Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman posted a fascinating update about a photo of impeachment figure Lev Parnas.

The photo shows Igor Fruman -- who, like Parnas, is under federal indictment -- sitting closely next to Rudy Giuliani and Parnas.

Haber said a source informed her that in the picture, Parnas can be seen wearing a "Presidential Service Badge," linking to the Wikipedia entry on the pin.

"The Presidential Service Badge (PSB) is an identification badge of the United States Armed Forces which is awarded to members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard as well as other members of the Uniformed Services, such as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who serve as full-time military staff to the President of the United States," Wikipedia explained.

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Trump’s big-money Florida fundraiser expected to bring in $10 million — from only 100 people

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President Donald Trump flew to Mar-a-Lago on Friday after receiving a formal summons from the U.S. Senate informing him of his impeachment trial.

The president will be attending a Friday evening campaign fundraiser.

The recipient of the money is Trump Victory, which is a joint fundraising committee set up by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and the Republican National Committee.

“Tonight’s Trump Victory fundraiser is expected to raise $10 million with approximately 100 people in attendance," the campaign told the White House pool reporter.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1218264289225728000

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