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Trump considers raising purchase age for certain firearms, amid gun control talks

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President Trump is signaling an openness to the idea of raising the minimum age for purchasing certain firearms in the wake of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla., where a 19-year-old is accused of killing 17 teachers and students with an AR-15 rifle.

A White House source told Fox News that Trump is open to a number of measures to address mass shootings, including supporting a rise in the minimum age for owning certain firearms – a proposal that could face resistance from gun rights groups, like the National Rifle Association.

According to the Giffords Law Center, which tracks gun laws and advocates for more restrictions, licensed firearm dealers under federal law cannot sell handguns to people under 21 and cannot sell long guns to people under 18. Some state laws already impose stricter minimum age requirements.

It’s not clear if Trump would seek changes to federal laws, the source said, or if he would advocate for a change at the state level.

The Washington Post reported that Trump is considering arguments that the minimum age for buying any semiautomatic weapon should be raised from 18 to 21. Axios also reported that Trump has been telling associates that he “doesn’t think high school kids should be able to buy guns.”

During Tuesday’s White House briefing, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about raising the age for buying AR-15s and said, “I think that’s certainly something that’s on the table for us to discuss, and that we expect to come up over the next couple of weeks.”

She said the administration is working to determine what can be done at the federal level.

“I know there are currently laws in place in certain states that restrict that,” she said. “In terms of whether or not we make that federal policy, that hasn’t yet been determined.”

TRUMP URGES BAN ON ‘BUMP STOCKS’

The NRA has not yet publicly commented on the trial balloon. But the discussion could be a test for Trump’s loyal base, as many of his supporters generally oppose new restrictions that would affect law-abiding gun owners. Yet Trump has flouted traditional conservative positions in the past, and could be testing whether he could sway certain wings of the party. 

At the same time, he may be wary of going too far. 

The talks come as the NRA’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, is expected to address conservative activists at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington this week.

Trump, who was backed by the NRA during the 2016 election, has expressed support for the Second Amendment and said he’s against reflexive gun control measures that wouldn’t stop tragedies.

But since last week’s shooting, the president has begun to embrace new gun restrictions.

Trump on Tuesday directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to craft new regulations to ban firearm modifiers including the “bump stock” used in the Las Vegas massacre.

A memo, released by the White House on Tuesday, directs the DOJ to propose a rule “banning all devices that turn legal weapons into machineguns.”

Sanders said the White House hasn’t “closed the door on any front” when it comes to trying to stop mass shootings and said Trump supports efforts to improve the federal background system.

Trump on Tuesday tweeted, “Whether we are Republican or Democrat, we must now focus on strengthening Background Checks!”

The president on Wednesday is hosting parents, teachers and students at the White House to discuss efforts to ensure safety at schools.

Among those attending will be members of the Parkland community and those affected by the Sandy Hook and Columbine school shootings, the White House said.

Fox News’ John Roberts contributed to this report.

Alex Pappas is a politics reporter at FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexPappas.



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Brexit POLL: Should Boris punish EU if France plunders UK's financial services? VOTE

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FRANCE has gloated that Brexit has driven thousands of jobs and billions of pounds in assets away from Britain – but should Boris Johnson punish the European Union if France plunders the UK’s financial services?

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Biden to sign executive orders on Covid vaccinations, pandemic response on 2nd day

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WASHINGTON — On his second day in office, President Joe Biden will sign 10 executive orders to ramp up Covid-19 vaccinations, expand testing and reopen schools as he outlines a detailed plan to tackle the pandemic.

The new administration will increase the number of vaccination sites by creating federal community vaccination centers in stadiums, gymnasiums and conference centers staffed with thousands of additional workers, some of them from federal agencies and the military, as well as first responders.

Biden’s plan also looks for ways to speed vaccine production, including using the Defense Production Act, shoring up the supply chain and releasing more of the federal government’s reserves. Biden will encourage all states to start vaccinating people 65 and older, along with certain essential workers, including teachers and grocery store employees.

Biden has set an ambitious goal of giving 100 million shots in 100 days — picking up the pace from the 17 million shots the Trump administration recorded in a little over a month. Administration officials think they have the supply and resources to meet the goal, but they said they will need funding from Congress to expand vaccinations to the wider population, increase testing and help schools reopen. Biden is asking for more than $400 million for the pandemic response as part of a $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

“While we will urgently execute the strategy, we do need Congress to act — and act quickly. Congress must provide the necessary funding in the Covid relief package, the American Rescue Plan, that the president will soon be sending them,” Jeffrey Zients, Biden’s Covid-19 response coordinator, said in a call with reporters.

Biden also plans to sign an executive order Thursday to require people to wear masks in airports and on airplanes, trains and maritime vessels and to mandate that international travelers have tested negative for Covid-19 before they depart for the U.S.

Biden’s coronavirus team said that because of a lack of information-sharing by the Trump administration during the transition, it is only beginning to get its arms around the state of the vaccination program. Officials have just begun to evaluate the supply and production schedule to figure out how much vaccine they can release while being able to ensure enough is left for people to get their second doses, Zients said.

Biden has said he wants the majority of K-8 schools to open in his first 100 days. To help make that happen, he will sign a presidential memorandum reimbursing schools for additional cleaning, protective equipment and other costs associated with getting students back to the classroom using disaster relief funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It will also direct his administration to develop new reopening guidelines.

Biden will also direct agencies to use their powers, including the Defense Production Act, to accelerate production of items in short supply, and he will direct FEMA to increase the federal reimbursement from 75 percent to 100 percent of the cost for National Guard, personnel and emergency supplies needed to create vaccination centers.

The administration said it will begin holding regular public briefings led by scientists and increase the amount of data being shared publicly, including metrics around race, the capacity of the health care system and vaccine supplies.

“The federal government should be the source of truth to the public to get clear, accessible and scientifically accurate information about Covid-19,” Zients said. “We will be honest, transparent and straightforward with the American people to rebuild that trust.”

Biden issued more than a dozen executive orders and memorandums in his first hours in office Wednesday, undoing many of the hallmarks of President Donald Trump’s tenure and beginning to make his own mark on how the U.S. will respond to its multiple crises. Aides have said more executive actions are expected in the coming days and weeks.

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Priti Patel: Why didn't the UK shut its borders back in March?

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HOME SECRETARY Priti Patel has found herself at the centre of yet another Downing Street PR storm following her claims she advocated for closing the borders to the UK when the coronavirus pandemic first hit last year. Why didn’t the UK shut its borders back in March?

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