President Donald Trump addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday morning and reiterated some of the proposals he is considering to improve school security and gun safety in the way of last week’s mass shooting at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
But he left out one proposal that he had suggested earlier in the week: namely, raising the minimum age for purchasing a gun to 21.
On Thursday, Trump voiced his support for raising the minimum age, adding: “The NRA will back it and so will Congress.”
But the National Rifle Association does not support that proposal, though it agrees with the President’s proposal to ban “bump stocks” that allow semi-automatic guns to mimic the action of automatic weapons, and has welcomed his suggestion to arm school staff who are trained in firearms and qualify for concealed carry permits.
On Friday, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch confirmed that the organization does not back raising the minimum age: “Raising the age is not going to solve psychosis.”
In front of a capacity, cheering crowd at CPAC, Trump drew applause for his proposals to improve background checks and to “harden” schools against attack. He also argued that the crowd would prefer keeping the Second Amendment over tax cuts, if it people were forced to choose.
But he stayed away from the idea of raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm, suggesting either that he knew the crowd would not be receptive to the proposal, or that he had decided to drop it in the face of NRA opposition.
Also on Friday morning, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced his support for raising the minimum age to buy a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21, as well as making it harder for those with mental health problems to buy guns.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.