Sunday 23 September 2018

NRA to block plan for higher age limit on guns

The NRA does not support Mr Trump’s proposals to raise the age limit for buying certain types of guns and to ban bump stocks that enable semi-automatic rifles to shoot hundreds of rounds a minute. Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
The NRA does not support Mr Trump’s proposals to raise the age limit for buying certain types of guns and to ban bump stocks that enable semi-automatic rifles to shoot hundreds of rounds a minute. Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Pete Schroeder in Washington

America's National Rifle Association (NRA) pushed back yesterday against modest proposals by US President Donald Trump and other Republicans to change gun laws in the wake of a school shooting in Florida that killed 17 students and staff.

The powerful gun lobby group does not support Mr Trump's proposals to raise the age limit for buying certain types of guns and to ban bump stocks that enable semi-automatic rifles to shoot hundreds of rounds a minute, a spokeswoman said on ABC's 'This Week'.

"The NRA doesn't back any ban," Dana Loesch said.

Mr Trump was endorsed by the NRA in his 2016 presidential election campaign and often trumpets his support for the constitutional right to own guns.

But the February 14 massacre at a Florida high school has mobilised students to push for restrictions on gun sales, led to several companies severing ties with the NRA, and energised gun-control activist groups.

As November congressional elections draw closer, Mr Trump and Republicans are under pressure to show they are responding to concerns about school safety without angering supporters who oppose gun control.

Since the Florida shooting, Mr Trump has declared support for raising the age limit to 21 from 18 for buying rifles. The 19-year-old shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, had bought his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle legally.

"That's what the NRA came out and said, that's correct," Ms Loesch said when pressed on whether the group opposes raising the minimum age.

Mr Trump also has asked the justice department to develop a regulation that would effectively ban the sale of bump stocks, an accessory used last year by a shooter who killed 58 people at a Las Vegas outdoor concert, the deadliest attack by a single gunman in US history.

Mr Trump has also said he supports legislation to tighten up background checks for gun buyers, but has not provided specific details. He has, however, also endorsed the idea - backed by the NRA - to arm trained teachers with guns.

Irish Independent

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