Bump stock ban advances, while Trump backs arming some teachers

  • 12 March 2018
  • NormanL
Bump stock ban advances, while Trump backs arming some teachers

The Justice Department has submitted proposed regulations banning bump stocks, but son't expect the devices to disappear any time soon:

The step is incremental, and the Justice Department still must go through a lengthy process to make the proposed regulation a reality. If the Office of Management and Budget okays the proposed regulation, it would then be published, with members of the public allowed to comment, before a final version was put into place.

While that process creeps forward, the Administration is also readjusting its support for various pieces of firearms regulation pending in Congress:

The White House...vowed to help provide “rigorous firearms training” to some schoolteachers and formally endorsed a bill to tighten the federal background checks system, but it backed off President Trump’s earlier call to raise the minimum age to purchase some guns to 21 years old from 18 years old.

Responding directly to last month’s gun massacre at a Florida high school, the administration rolled out several policy proposals that focus largely on mental health and school safety initiatives. The idea of arming some teachers has been controversial and has drawn sharp opposition from the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers lobby, among other groups. Many of the student survivors have urged Washington to toughen restrictions on gun purchases, but such measures are fiercely opposed by the National Rifle Association, and the Trump plan does not include substantial changes to gun laws.

Rather, the president is establishing a Federal Commission on School Safety, to be chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, that will explore possible solutions, such as the age requirement for purchases, officials said.

While the teachers unions are displeased at the prospect of having their members trained in the use of firearms, the NRA backs the idea:

The NRA supports the idea of allowing armed teachers in schools. Bremberg said the administration is backing two pieces of legislation: A bipartisan bill by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) that is designed to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; and the STOP School Violence Act, which would authorize state-based grants to implement violence prevention training for teachers and students.

The administration also is urging all states to pass risk-protection orders, as Florida recently did, allowing law enforcement officers to remove firearms from individuals who are considered a threat to themselves or others and to prevent them from purchasing new guns, Bremberg said.

Lastly, the administration wants to better integrate mental health, primary care and family services programs, and the president has ordered a full audit and review of the FBI tip line, he said. The FBI has said it ignored a warning that 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz might attack a school just weeks before he allegedly carried out the rampage in Parkland.

“The president is determined to get to the root of the various societal issues that lead to violence in our country,” Bremberg said. “No stone will be unturned.”

The situation, then, is fluid. There do not seem to be any genuinely destructive, anti-Second Amendment ideas under consideration, nor does the Administration seem as eager to embrace Democratic talking points on the issue, as the President appeared to do in a White House meeting earlier this month.

We need to stay vigilant -- and we will keep you abreast of the lastest developments as they occur.