Daily News Roundup – March 12, 2018

Trump Flip-Flops on Proposed Gun Control Measures

WASHINGTON — President Trump no longer supports the idea of raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21, a policy he favored last month.  On Sunday, the White House announced a packaged that includes a new federal commission on school safety to examine the age issue in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead.

“It’s not going to be appropriate in every location but it is going to be appropriate in some places.” The White House announcement came a day after Trump, speaking about the opioid problem, criticized policy commissions during a rally in Pennsylvania, saying “we can’t just keep setting up blue-ribbon committees.” The plan was immediately panned by gun control advocates, including the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York described it as “tiny baby steps designed not to upset the NRA, when the gun violence epidemic in this country demands that giant steps be taken.”  Trump was deeply moved by the February shooting and convened a series of listening sessions in the weeks after the massacre.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who on Sunday called the proposal “meaningful actions, steps that can be taken right away to help protect students,” said Monday said the plan was “the first step in a more lengthy process.”  No deadline was set for the commission’s recommendations, but officials expected them in less than a year.