President Defies the NRA

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President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with state and local officials to discuss school safety, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with state and local officials to discuss school safety, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with state and local officials to discuss school safety, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The nation should keep assault rifles out of the hands of anyone under 21, President Donald Trump says, defying his loyal supporters in the National Rifle Association amid America’s public reckoning over gun violence. He also pushed hard for arming security guards and many teachers in U.S. schools.

“There’s nothing more important than protecting our children,” Trump said, adding that he’d spoken with many members of Congress and NRA officials and insisting they would go along with his plans in the wake of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.

But there were no words of support from the NRA for his minimum-age proposal — and outright opposition from organizations of teachers and school security guards for the idea of arming schools to deal with intruders.

“The NRA will back it and so will Congress,” Trump contended as he called for raising the legal age of purchase for “all” guns from 18 to 21.

A spokesman later said Trump was speaking specifically about semi-automatic weapons. The president’s proposal came just hours after the NRA affirmed its opposition, calling such a restriction an infringement on gun owners’ rights.

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