Connect with us


Gun control measures proposed by Trump, lawmakers after Florida school shooting



Two weeks after a gunman walked into a high school in Parkland, Fla., and massacred 17 students and faculty members, survivors aren’t giving up their fight for stronger gun control efforts.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School teenagers have moved front and center in the gun control debate, organizing a coming national school walkout, meeting with President Donald Trump, lobbying state lawmakers and participating in protests.

Since the Feb. 14 shooting, several ideas have been floated by the White House, Democrats and state officials to combat gun violence. Trump also hosted a group of bipartisan lawmakers at the White House to discuss reform.

Here are seven measures lawmakers are now debating.

Arming teachers

Trump and Republicans suggested the possibility of arming teachers after the school shooting – and Florida lawmakers moved closer to do that this week.

The Florida House Appropriations Committee voted along party lines to pass a statewide program that places trained, armed teachers in classrooms, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

On Twitter, Trump promoted the idea of having “highly trained, gun adept” teachers and coaches in schools who could confront a shooter before first responders arrived or serve as a “deterrent to the cowards that do this.”

“If a potential ‘sicko shooter’ knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school. Cowards won’t go there…problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!” Trump tweeted.

Two school districts near Dayton, Ohio, already train a group of select teachers and faculty members to confront an active shooter. These staff members, whose identities are not revealed, have access to safes throughout the schools which have guns hidden inside.

Ohio offers funding for schools to train staff to respond in emergency situations. There are more than a dozen other states across the country with school districts that have teachers or staff members who are trained to fire back, or which legally allow adults with guns on school grounds.

Strengthening federal background checks

Trump has seemed open to strengthening the federal background check process for gun purchases, saying it should be a bipartisan effort to do so.

Gun control advocates point to what they see as “loopholes” in the current system that could allow for people to purchase guns even when they legally should not be able to do so.

Specifically, Jonas Oransky, deputy legal director of Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit that advocates for stronger gun control, noted the ability for consumers to purchase guns from a private seller without completing a background check.

“It’s not that all sellers are dangerous or devious, but buyers who know that they can skip the background check can look for an unlicensed seller.”

– Jonas Oransky, Everytown for Gun Safety

“It’s not that all sellers are dangerous or devious, but buyers who know that they can skip the background check can look for an unlicensed seller,” Oransky told Fox News.

He also pointed to the so-called “Charleston loophole,” which allows dealers to sell guns to a customer before a background check is completed – when National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) marks a document “delayed” but does not approve or deny it within three business days. He said a disproportionate number of buyers who obtain a gun before a background check is completed are domestic abusers, citing complex records and restraining orders that investigators need additional time to read through or discuss with the appropriate local law enforcement agency.

However, Second Amendment advocates argue the background check system already does too much.

“We don’t think it’s proper for people to have to prove their innocence to the government in order to exercise their God-given right,” Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, a Virginia-based gun rights nonprofit, told Fox News.

Eliminating bump stocks

Graphic shows how the bump stock accelerates the firing rate of a semiautomatic rifle; 2c x 3 inches; 96.3 mm x 76 mm;

Graphic shows how the bump stock accelerates the firing rate of a semiautomatic rifle; 2c x 3 inches; 96.3 mm x 76 mm.

 (AP Photo)

In the wake of the Parkland shooting, Trump said he signed an order instructing the Justice Department to ban bump stocks, an attachment that allows a semi-automatic rifle to resemble a fully automatic weapon.

Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions said top officials in the Justice Department believe they can ban bump stocks through the regulatory process. However, gun manufacturers and owners are likely to sue if they are banned without any legislation from Congress.

Bump stocks were approved in 2010 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after concluding the devices did not turn guns into machine guns, which are prohibited under the National Firearms Act.

The devices weren’t used in the Parkland shooting, but the massacre did reignite the debate over whether they should be banned.

Limiting high-capacity magazines

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said he’s open to changing his stance on one gun control measure after meeting with survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting: high-capacity magazines.

“I have traditionally not supported looking at magazine clip size and after this and some of the details I have learned about it, I am reconsidering that position,” Rubio said during a recent town hall. “While it may not prevent an attack, it may save lives in an attack … So we’ll have to get into that debate, but that is something I believe that we can reach a compromise [on] in this country, and that I’m willing to reconsider.”

The suspected gunman had to stop to reload his firearm during the massacre, which Rubio added was “evidence in this case that it saved the lives of some people.” 

Several measures introduced in states across the country – including in Colorado, Illinois and Rhode Island – would ban high-capacity magazines.

Raising the age limit to buy certain guns

After hosting survivors of gun violence and their parents at the White House, Trump publicly backed raising the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic weapons to 21.

“There’s nothing more important than protecting our children,” Trump said. 

“Certainly, nobody under 21 should have an AR-15.”

– Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.

And when Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., acknowledged that a bill he’s sponsored with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to broaden background checks does not include raising the age limit, Trump accused him of being “afraid of the NRA.”

National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch has already said the powerful gun lobby does not support raising the age limit to purchase certain firearms. After Trump’s White House meeting, she told Fox News it was “good TV,” but some of the proposals were “really bad policy.”

However, some Republican senators, including Rubio and Pat Roberts of Kansas, have voiced support for raising the minimum age to purchase certain types of firearms.

“Certainly, nobody under 21 should have an AR-15,” Roberts said.

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, announced this week that it would stop selling firearms and ammunition to anyone under the age of 21.

Banning ‘assault-style’ rifles

AR-15 rifles are displayed for sale at the Guntoberfest gun show in Oaks, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 6, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RC120D41AB00

AR-15 rifles are displayed for sale at the Guntoberfest gun show in Oaks, Pa.

 (Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

House Democrats introduced a ban on semi-automatic firearms in February called the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018. More than 150 Democrats signed the legislation, the Washington Examiner reported.  

According to a Harvard CAPS-Harris survey, 61 percent of respondents support banning the AR-15 firearm, used in many of the recent mass shootings in the U.S., including Parkland. Just 39 percent of respondents said adults who pass a background check should be allowed to purchase the firearm.

Dick’s Sporting Goods announced in February that it would stop selling assault-style rifles and prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing a firearm.

“We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens,” Edward W. Stack, chairman and CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, said in a statement. “But we have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us. Gun violence is an epidemic that’s taking the lives of too many people, including the brightest hope for the future of America – our kids.”

Stack also said the company would stop selling high-capacity magazines and will continue its policy of not selling bump stocks.

“Some will say these steps can’t guarantee tragedies like Parkland will never happen again. They may be correct – but if common sense reform is enacted and even one life is saved, it will have been worth it,” Stack said.

Cutting ties with the NRA

FILE- In this March 7, 2012 file photo, Illinois gun owners and supporters file out National Rifle Association applications while participating in an Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day convention before marching to the Illinois state Capitol in Springfield, Ill. Hearing aid maker Starkey Hearing Technologies is joining other companies that have cut ties with the National Rifle Association after the latest school massacre. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

Multiple companies have cut ties with the National Rifle Association after the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting.

 (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Trump encouraged lawmakers not to be afraid to disagree with the NRA, the powerful nonprofit that advocates for gun rights, during a televised meeting with lawmakers.

“I’m a fan of the NRA,” Trump said. “There’s no bigger fan. I’m a big fan of the NRA. These are great people, these great patriots. They love our country. But that doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything.”

Several companies have cut ties with the NRA since the Parkland school shooting. Among them are: Avis Budget Group, Enterprise Holdings, MetLife, United and Delta.

After Atlanta-based Delta announced it was severing ties with the NRA, Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle threatened to kill a proposed tax break on jet fuel as retribution. Cagle is a gubernatorial candidate.

The threat prompted liberal governors nationwide to court the airline, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who tweeted his support and encouraged Delta to move its headquarters north.

“Now more than ever the NRA is showing just how out of step they are with the American people,” Cuomo said in a statement, calling the NRA’s agenda “dangerous.”

The NRA has fired back at companies like Delta – and at the lawmakers encouraging them – for allegedly not supporting the Second Amendment.

“Ultimately, our members are passionate #2A supporters. Having those on the left pushing for a boycott to pressure companies to drop discounts just shows how out of touch some are,” the NRA said on Twitter.

Fox News’ Jennifer Earl, Matt Finn and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.

Source link


U.S. has administered over 309 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, CDC says



The United States had administered 309,322,545 doses of Covid-19 vaccines and distributed 374,398,105 doses in the country as of Sunday morning, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Those figures were up from the 308,112,728 doses of vaccine that the CDC said had been administered as of Saturday, out of 374,397,205 doses delivered.

The agency said 173,840,483 people in the United States had received at least one dose of a vaccine, while 143,921,222 people were fully vaccinated as of 6 a.m. ET on Sunday.

The CDC tally includes the two-dose vaccines from Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc/BioNTech/ as well as Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine.

Source link

Continue Reading


Nigel Farage SHOULD be honoured for 'services to EU exit' – 'He's the man of the Century!'



DOZENS of influential figures have been rewarded in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for their services to Brexit – but one former MEP has pointed out that Nigel Farage has been excluded.

Source link

Continue Reading


Queen Elizabeth II hosts Bidens at Windsor Castle



LONDON — They met Friday at the Group of Seven summit, but President Joe Biden and the first lady had an altogether more private meeting with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday, at her home in Windsor Castle.

The monarch, 95, received the Bidens for tea at her historic residence, about 30 miles west of London. On arrival they were greeted with an official Guard of Honor military parade, which gave a royal salute and played the American national anthem.

Biden stood next to the queen in the sunshine, wearing his aviator sunglasses, before inspecting the troops in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle, last seen on television during the somber funeral ceremony of her husband, Prince Philip, who died aged 99 in April.

The queen has stoically continued with her official duties since then and met Biden alongside other world leaders and their spouses on Friday at the G-7 summit, by the seaside in Cornwall, southwest England.

There, she amused leaders when she quipped during a photo-call: “Are you supposed to be looking as if you’re enjoying yourselves?”

Biden first met the queen in 1982 as a Democratic senator for Delaware but this time he joined her as president. He is the 13th serving president the monarch has met. She has met every serving American president since Dwight Eisenhower — except Lyndon Johnson who did not travel to Britain while in office.

As a 25-year-old princess in 1951, she also stayed with President Harry S. Truman and his family in Washington, D.C.

The queen has hosted four other American presidents at Windsor Castle in recent years, including former-President Donald Trump in 2018, who shocked press and palace pundits when he breached royal protocol by walking ahead of the queen, at times blocking her view and giving her his back.

After a state visit in 2019, Trump told Fox News: “There are those that say they have never seen the queen have a better time.”

Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics

On arrival to England last week, first lady Jill Biden told reporters that meeting the queen was “an exciting part of the visit for us.”

She also undertook a separate engagement with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, when the two visited a school on Friday.

Kate told NBC News during the visit that she was looking forward to meeting her new niece, Lilibet Diana, born in California earlier this month.

Britain’s royal family have had a turbulent year in the public eye following a bombshell interview given by the queen’s grandson Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.

The couple stunned viewers with allegations of royal racism — denied by the palace — while Meghan also spoke publicly about how royal life and media pressure had taken its toll on her mental health.

After taking private afternoon tea with the queen on Sunday, Biden will then travel to nearby Brussels for a NATO summit, before heading to Switzerland on Wednesday for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Source link

Continue Reading