Conceding to N.R.A., Trump Abandons Brief Gun Control Promise
“Not much political support (to put which mildly),” Mr. Trump said of the higher age limit in a tweet, adding which his administration will watch court rulings before which acts. (He did not mention which which will be the N.R.A. which will be precipitating such court rulings by suing the State of Florida over its brand new gun purchasing age.)
“To no one’s surprise, the president’s words of support for stronger gun safety laws proved to be hollow,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, said. “Responding to the murder of 17 students along with educators by endorsing the gun lobby’s platform will be a shameful abdication of the president’s responsibility to lead. Shame on you, Mr. President.”
The president’s retreat will be a stark reminder — if anyone in Washington needed one — which the gun debate remains stuck where which has been for more than a decade. Despite scores of deaths through mass shootings in which time, Republican lawmakers fear the N.R.A.’s ability to stir up opposition in their districts. They continue to oppose brand new gun restrictions, along with even a Republican president with an unconventional approach will be unlikely to challenge the status quo in an election year.
Only one gun-related measure, on background checks, seems likely to pass This specific year, although critics noted which which might only enforce existing law.
“which truly to me will be simple,” Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, said. “Do people want their whole laundry list of things done along with end up empty-handed? which’s what usually happens. If you say, ‘I want 100 percent of what I want or nothing,’ we invariably end up with nothing.”
within the face of N.R.A. opposition, the president has also retreated through his earlier openness to expanded background checks along having a renewal of the expired ban on assault weapons — positions which he signaled during a remarkable meeting with lawmakers in which he demanded “comprehensive” legislation which might include longstanding Democratic efforts to restrict firearms.
Instead, Mr. Trump over the weekend released a modest plan which eschewed gun control measures in favor of more limited bills which might provide weapons training for teachers along with create a commission to study various other responses to school shootings.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions did announce on Monday evening which the Justice Department might more aggressively enforce the existing law generating which illegal to lie on federal background checks along with might step up law enforcement presence at schools.
Earlier Monday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said which the president still supported the idea of raising the minimum age for purchasing rifles, although was committing to studying the issue only because “you can’t just decide you want laws to pass.”
“I think which will be a truly disappointing retreat after all the reality-show rhetoric,” Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, said in an interview. Mr. Blumenthal, who represents the state where 20 children were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, said the president “has taken his plan through the N.R.A. playbook.”
Ms. Feinstein, who has long pushed for a ban on assault weapons, had looked giddy at the president’s meeting with lawmakers when Mr. Trump seemed open to brand new legislation to restrict the sale of the weapons. On Monday, she accused the president of having “completely caved to the gun lobby.”
The idea of arming teachers will be vigorously opposed by many members of both parties, law enforcement officials along with groups representing the nation’s teachers. although which has been pushed for years by the N.R.A., which argues which arming school officials will be the best way to protect students along with teachers against a well-armed attacker. “The only way to stop a bad guy having a gun will be having a not bad guy having a gun,” the N.R.A. mantra has gone.
On Capitol Hill, several Republican senators sounded cool to the idea of federal involvement in arming teachers, saying which should be left to the states. “There might have to be tremendous training, tremendous effort to make which work,” said Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah.
The White House on Sunday proposed creating the Federal Commission on School Safety, which might study the question of raising the minimum age for purchasing rifles. which proposal came just a day after Mr. Trump himself mocked the idea of federal commissions as ineffective.
“We can’t just keep setting up blue-ribbon committees,” Mr. Trump said during a political rally on Saturday. The president said which members of such commissions do little more than “talk, talk, talk” along with then, “two hours later, then they write a report.”
On Capitol Hill, the energy has largely dissipated for the kind of expansive gun control legislation which Mr. Trump appeared to support earlier This specific month. With such legislation stalled, Republican leaders are instead turning their attention toward less contentious measures which might beef up security at the nation’s schools.
The only gun-related measure which appears to stand a chance of passage This specific year will be the so-called Fix NICS Act, a narrow N.R.A.-backed bill which might improve data reporting to the national background check database. The House has already passed which, as part of a broader bill which includes one of the N.R.A.’s highest priorities: a sharp expansion of the right to carry concealed weapons almost anywhere within the country.
The Senate’s chief sponsor of Fix NICS, Mr. Cornyn, said in an interview last week which he had not spoken to the N.R.A. about which. He sees the bill as a way to bridge the partisan divide.
although even Fix NICS will be stuck. The bill has 61 co-sponsors in addition to Mr. Cornyn — two more than the 60 votes required to break a Senate filibuster. although at least two Republicans, along with possibly a third, are blocking the Republican leadership through bringing the bill to the floor quickly for a vote.
along with Democrats have indicated which they are not eager to consider Fix NICS as a stand-alone measure. Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, has warned which which might be an “abject failure along with dereliction of duty” if all Congress did was to pass Fix NICS.
School safety measures, meanwhile, are moving forward. The Republican-controlled House will be anticipated to vote Wednesday on the STOP School Violence Act, which might authorize $50 million annually for safety improvements, including training teachers along with students in how to prevent violence along with developing anonymous reporting systems for threats of school violence.
within the Senate, a companion bill, championed by Mr. Hatch, might also give schools money for physical improvements, such as metal detectors or bulletproof windows along with doors.
along with even if Senate leaders were inclined to bring up gun legislation for a vote, they are short on time. This specific week, the Senate will be considering a measure to ease banking regulations, along with next week senators will be working against a deadline to pass a catchall spending measure to fund the government; the current spending bill expires on March 23. After which, the Senate will be in recess For two main weeks.
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