Trump Wants To Ban Bump Stocks, ATF Doesn't Know If It Can

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WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is continuing to talk about the possibility of arming teachers, saying he means concealed weapons for “gun adept teachers with military or special training experience – only the best.”

Trump pledged to be “very strong on background checks.” And he suggests he’d support allowing some teachers and other school employees to carry concealed weapons to be ready for intruders.

Trump listened intently Wednesday to the raw emotion as students and parents appealed to the president to set politics aside and protect America’s school children from the scourge of gun violence.

The president had invited the teen survivors of school violence and parents of murdered children in a show of his resolve against gun violence in the wake of last week’s shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and in past years at schools in Connecticut and Colorado. The latest episode has prompted a renewed and growing call for stronger gun control.

Trump later tweeted that he would “always remember” the meeting. “So much love in the midst of so much pain. We must not let them down. We must keep our children safe!!”

Trump spoke on Twitter Thursday morning. He tweeted: “I never said ‘give teachers guns’ like was stated on Fake News CNN & NBC.” Trump says that giving concealed weapons to highly trained teachers would allow them to, in his words, “immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions.”

Trump added: “Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this.” He says: “ATTACKS WOULD END!”

President Trump also says he wants to see action on a series of gun control measures, saying “Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue – I hope!”

Trump was speaking on Twitter Thursday. He says: “I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health. Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks!”

He did not immediately offer more details.

Trump appeared to be endorsing a plan to raise the minimum age to buy assault-type weapons.

He has previously expressed interest in efforts to strengthen the federal background check system. It was not clear if he would back closing loopholes that permit loose private sales on the internet and at gun shows.

Ban Coming For Bump Stocks?

President Trump is also telling his Justice Department to ban rapid-fire bump stock devices like those used in last year’s massacre in Las Vegas. But some officials in the department are not sure they can.

The president’s surprise order this week comes as the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is deep in a review of whether it has the power to regulate bump stocks without action from Congress.

Imposing any ban is likely to draw the ATF into a long legal battle with gun manufacturers.

ATF already looked at bump stocks and approved them in 2010, finding they were not the same as machine guns that are regulated under federal law.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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