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White House to help arm school employees

12 March 2018

The administration will start working with states to provide "rigorous firearms training" to teachers and other school personnel who volunteer to be armed, said Andrew Bremberg, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. 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. National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García last month said, "Bringing more guns into our schools does nothing to protect our students and educators from gun violence".

Trump has also demanded a full audit of the FBI's tip line, which botched two calls about suspected Parkland gunman Nikolas Cruz before he allegedly walked into his former high school on Valentine's Day and killed 17 people. Invoking past mass school shootings, she continued, "No student, no family, no teacher and no school should have to live the horror of Parkland or Sandy Hook or Columbine again". "No stone will be unturned".

"We cant just keep setting up blue-ribbon committees with your wife and your wife and your husband, and they meet and they have a meal and they talk", Trump said Saturday at a rally in Moon Township, Pa. "There's been a lot of talk in the past, but very little action".

Separately, the senior administration official said "the first step" is for Congress to take action. The commission does not have a set timeline of when it will report its findings, although an official said it would be within one year.

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Trump's apparent reversal from proposing to raise the age young people can buy military assault-style weapons like the AR-15 that was used in the Parkland school shooting is a startling turnaround.

At that meeting, Trump embraced suggestions to close loopholes for gun buyers seeking to avoid the background check system, raise the age limit for buying rifles, and find ways to temporarily seize guns from people reported to be risky. The president will also be convening a task force to further study the issue. "We are not concerned ... about the NRA here".

Trump has long criticized previous administrations for creating commissions to examine issues.

But nothing in the current White House proposals addresses raising the minimum age for buyers.

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As part of the effort, the administration will also conduct a full audit and review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation tip line, which failed to keep the alleged Parkland shooter from acquiring guns.

But officials backed off President Donald Trump's call to raise the age limit on buying certain firearms. Bump stocks were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern USA history, which took place in October in Las Vegas.

Appearing on ABC's This Week on Sunday, White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah said Trump supports raising to 21 the age for purchasing "certain firearms".

While Trump is also calling on states to bolster background checks, and will direct the Justice Department to "provide technical assistance" to states who ask for guidance on establishing Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), he will not be proposing any sweeping, nationwide changes to strengthen the process.

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The White House also supports a second bill that would create a federal grant program to train students, teachers and school officials how to identify signs of potential violence and intervene early. John Cornyn, R-Tex., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., that's created to improve the database used to check the backgrounds of would-be gun buyers.

White House to help arm school employees