Trump calls for stricter US gun control

Mar 1, 2018 | News

Flanked by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) U.S. President Donald Trump meets with bi-partisan members of Congress to discuss school and community safety in the wake of the Florida school shootings at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Chihiro Miya

In a sharp change from past Republican policy, U.S. President Donald Trump urged a group of lawmakers to come up with stronger gun control regulations.

Trump’s surprising comments came during a televised meeting on Wednesday while addressing the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that claimed 17 lives in Parkland Florida last month.

“First, we must harden our schools against attack,” said Trump in the meeting.

” These include allowing people with certified training, very talented people to carry firearms.”

He also spoke about expanding background checks for gun buyers and raising the legal age to buy rifles to 21 from 18.

“We have to do something about the mentally ill not being able to buy a gun,” said Trump, still focusing on the issue of  mental health.

“I mean they have so many checks and balances that you could be mentally ill and it takes you six months before you can prohibit it.”

After the meeting, Trump shared his thoughts on Twitter.

Trump endorsed the National Rifle Association(NRA) in his 2016 campaign.

But at the start of the fourth free-flowing gun policy discussion, Trump pushed Congress to “go big on the bill.”

He said to NRA officials, “It’s time. We’ve got to stop this nonsense.”

NRA public affairs director Jennifer Baker told to CNN, “While today’s meeting made for great TV, the gun-control proposals discussed would make for bad policy that would not keep our children safe.”

Baker added, “Instead of punishing law-abiding gun owners for the acts of a deranged lunatic, our leaders should pass meaningful reforms that would actually prevent future tragedies.”

Private companies caught in gun-control crossfire

Since the Florida school shooting, private retailers as have been pressured to restrict or cease selling certain firearms or related products.

Prominent U.S. companies have responded to the Florida shooting by implementing restrictions of  firearms similar to the type of rifle used in a massacre.

The first company that stopped selling the weapons under 21 years old was Dick’s Sporting Goods announced earlier Wednesday.

“We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens,” said DICK’S Sporting Goods in a statement.

“But we have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us. Gun violence is an epidemic that’s taking the lives of too many people, including the brightest hope for the future of America – our kids.”

Walmart also announced that it will no longer sell firearms and ammunition to those under 21.

“In light of recent events, we’ve taken an opportunity to review our policy on firearm sales,” Walmart said in a statement, “Going forward, we are raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age.”

The company became the second major U.S. retailer to restrict gun sales.

The outcry has even affected Canadian companies that don’t actually sell guns.

Vancouver-based Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) decided to stop selling outdoor products made by Vista Outdoor Inc., which is a gun manufacturer.

MEC doesn’t sell the weapons, but faced a petition on Tuesday calling on it to stop selling Vista Outdoor’s products.