What’s Next For Gun Policy Reform?

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With pressure on both the administration and congressional leaders to move forward with gun policy reforms, it was no surprise that Monday’s White House Press briefing received a myriad of questions regarding President Trump’s position on various gun policy proposal. President Trump has met with students and parents of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, state Governors, and NRA leader Wayne LaPierre to discuss the initiation of safer schools and communities. According to Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, the goal of the administration is to “protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, while keeping guns out of the hands of those who pose a danger to themselves and society.” Here’s how Trump stands on various gun control measures:

BUMP STOCKS

Ever since the Las Vegas shooting, there has been a call for additional regulations on bump stocks, which even received support from the NRA. President Trump signed an executive memo directing the ATF and Department of Justice to work on solutions for the banning of bump stocks, an object which converts a semi-automatic weapon into having rapid firing potential. “If we cannot find an administrative fix, we would support a legislative solution to complete that,” Sanders stated. The outlawing of bump stocks has also received bipartisan support among members of Congress, however, even with legislative initiatives, there has been no success in passing legislation to ban bump stocks.

AGE LIMIT TO PURCHASE A RIFLE 

The majority of U.S. states currently allow 18-year-olds to purchase an AR-15 rifle. With the Parkland shooter being able to purchase multiple rifles while only being 19 years old, requests to raise the age have become prevalent. Although the NRA has come out in opposition to raising the age, stating that it would be an infringement of a constitutional right for individuals ages 18-20, the President has backed the idea. Sarah Sanders stated that the President is still “supportive of the concept.” There will be further discussion on the issue when the President meets with members of Congress on Wednesday to look at how it can be implemented into legislation.

BACKGROUND CHECKS

Another major proposal that has been discussed by both the President and Congress has been improving the federal background check system for firearm purchases. Although there is much support from Americans to implement stronger background checks, the screening process has failed to stop mass shooters in the past, including the Virginia Tech shooter in 2007. The NRA does not support expanding of the firearm background check for this very reason. The Administration is taking a different stance. “The President believes that we should look at strengthening background checks,” Sanders stated. Trump has also expressed support for the Fix NICS Act, a bipartisan attempt to ultimately increase the enforcement of the NICS among state and federal agencies while adding penalties to agencies that fail to upload their records.

ARMING INDIVIDUALS IN SCHOOLS

The Administration has proposed the arming of some school personnel in an effort to prevent an armed individual from entering or harming students on a school campus. Sanders explained in further detail that the Administration is “not advocating for the arming of every single teacher in the school. We think that hardening our schools and protecting our students with trained personnel is a viable path and one that we’re very much looking at.” The NRA has backed this plan, but House Majority Leader Paul Ryan refused to sign onto the President’s proposal. Various studies have shown that teachers and school districts are generally opposed to the idea.

MENTAL HEALTH REFORM

President Trump has become a proponent of implementing mental health reforms to stop mentally ill individuals from being able to purchase a firearm. In the case of the Parkland shooting, the shooter was being given mental health services by the school district but refused further help when he turned 18. The shooter’s social media account and various testimonies also foreshadowed the mass shooting that took place. “The President is very focused on mental illness, working with the Health and Human Services Department to determine the best path forward on that, and what is available and allowed under the law — certainly something that we take very seriously, and something that we want to address,” Sanders stated. Republicans in Congress have agreed that mental health should be a legislative priority when addressing the issue. The problem that Trump will face with mental health reform is whether or not this will actually fix the issue. “Mass shootings by people with serious mental illness remain exceedingly rare events and represent a fraction of a percent of all yearly gun-related homicides,” according to the American Psychiatric Association. 

ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN

House Democrats have introduced a bill calling for a ban on semi-automatic weapons, which has not been accepted by the President and has received staunch opposition by the NRA. Although AR-15s have shown up in multiple mass shootings, the bill “permits continued possession of, but prohibits sale or transfer of, a grandfathered LCAFD (large capacity ammunition feeding device)” meaning there would still be millions of Americans with AR-15s. Additionally, the majority of gun violence in the U.S. is conducted with handguns, not semi-automatic weapons. The bill will also be discussed on Wednesday when Trump meets with Congressional leaders.

Samantha Cosme is senior at the George Washington University studying Political Science and International Affairs. She has worked with both a Republican House and Senate office and interned for the Heritage Foundation. She hopes to work with public policy in the future with a focus on Latin America.

6 Comments

  1. The government does not wish for you to retire. As long as they have a subjugated working stock to support the massive corporate police state they will work you till you drop, Do not be surprised that they raise the legal retirement age again. These greedy corporate puppets would put their own Grandmother’s on the assembly line until they are 99 years old.

    • The N.R.A. would suggest we arm the students with weapons. In the countries that I have visited, schools are located within a walled compound with only an armed security guard needed.

  2. Never waste a good crisis to seize the opportunity to forward your evil agendas. The liberal agenda is complete domination of every facet of our lives. These control freaks must be stopped or we will soon be just another third world country. Guns have only two enemies…………..rust and politicians. Guns have never been capable of committing an evil deed on their own. Neither has a knife, a rope, a hammer, an ice pick, a baseball bat, a hatchet, a machete, a tire tool, a candlestick, a screw driver. a monkey wrench, a beer mug nor you family automobile. Yet all of these items HAVE been used in the murdering of the innocent. So, why is it the liberal left is ONLY attacking guns? SIMPLE ANSWER: Guns gives us the ABILITY to resist the political leaders of a tyrannical society. THIS IS WHY our founding fathers, when drafting the Constitution, placed our freedoms of speech first, backed up with the second amendment which guaranteed every American the right to bear arms to make sure WE didn’t lose the first. Right now, these liberal cockroaches are trying their damndest to strip us of those second amendment rights and if we allow them to be successful, I can guarantee you the first will soon follow. At all costs, they must be stopped.

  3. Are we not going to address the elephant in the room? Trump’s idea of confiscating a person’s guns ahead of due process? This is every American’s nightmare and something conservatives accused Obama of trying to do for 8 years.
    I know it isn’t going to happen. But the fact that he thought it and he said it should be very concerning for every American.

  4. Are we not going to address the elephant in the room? Trump’s idea of confiscating a person’s guns ahead of due process? This is every American’s nightmare and something conservatives accused Obama of trying to do for 8 years.
    I know it isn’t going to happen. But the fact that he thought it and he said it should be very concerning for every American.

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