As of early March, Trump appeared to support raising the federal age limit to buy most firearms from 18 to 21. He was troubled, he claimed, by the fact that the 19-year-old Parkland shooter was allowed to legally purchase the AR-15-style rifle he used to kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“You can’t buy a handgun at 18, 19, or 20, you have to wait ‘til you’re 21. But you can buy the gun, the weapon used in this horrible shooting, at 18,” Trump said earlier this month during a truly bizarre meeting with lawmakers on guns and gun policy.
Trump then accused Republican senators of being afraid of the NRA after Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, said that a bill he was working on to strengthen background checks didn’t include raising minimum age requirements to purchase firearms. “You know why?” Trump asked Toomey. “Because you’re afraid of the NRA.”
Cut to nearly two weeks later, and it appears that Trump is also afraid of the NRA. I wonder why?
The White House’s official proposal would fund firearms training programs for school staff and strengthen criminal background and mental health checks. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos—noted genius—has also been tapped to lead a new committee tackling school violence prevention. Conspicuously missing in all of this is Trump’s pet plan to raise the minimum age to purchase a firearm.
In a bit of conspicuous timing, the NRA is suing the state of Florida over a law raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21. The NRA called the law an “affront” to the Second Amendment. It seems Trump got the message.