President Trump is getting attacked for refusing to raise the age of a rifle purchase to 21. He is also getting attacked for a new proposal, out over the weekend, that would arm teachers. Except that is not quite true and the reporters saying it are misrepresenting his proposal. The proposal is quite solid.
First, it is refreshing that the President has walked back the idea of raise the rifle purchase age to 21. Florida has just done it and that just shows this is an issue for the states. Congress need not involve itself.
Second, the President is not proposing arming teachers. He is proposing a voluntary program that would train school personnel. Others are interpreting that as meaning teachers, but that’s not in the proposal itself, other than teachers can volunteer if they are so inclined.
The proposal would pay for firearms training for school personnel and would “support the transition of military veterans and retired law enforcement into new careers in education.” The proposal also encourages states to adopt Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs). From the outline of the President’s proposal, White House staff explain:
ERPOs allow law enforcement, with approval from a court, to remove firearms from individuals who are a demonstrated threat to themselves or others and temporarily to prevent individuals from purchasing new firearms.
The proposal is basically an all hands on deck idea. The Attorney General and Justice Department will audit the FBI’s procedures and processing of the tip line. The Secretary of Education will set up a commission to see how schools handle safety and how they handle reporting of problematic behavior. The instant background check procedures will be improved and bureaucrats retrained to make sure they promptly enter appropriate data.
Fortunately, the proposal embraces federalism and recognizes there is not a one size fits all national solution. The President intends to recommend frameworks that states can optionally enact. This is a huge step in the right direction and the White House has done a good and credible job.