Trump abandons gun control promises with modest policy proposal

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

United States President Donald Trump has abandoned his promise to push for stronger gun control measures as he put forward a package of gun-safety regulations that do not include provisions opposed by the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The president’s proposal on the guns issue did not include the provision to raise the age to purchase certain types of guns from 18 to 21, which contradicts the statements he publicly made less than two weeks ago while discussing the issue with a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

“On 18 to 21 Age Limits, watching court cases and rulings before acting,” Trump tweeted about his new position on the issue. “States are making this decision. Things are moving rapidly on this, but not much political support (to put it mildly).”

The president’s change in position demonstrates the very strong influence that the NRA continues to have over the White House despite public outcry following the shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida last month, where 17 people were shot dead.

NRA’s influence is also evident at Capitol Hill, where most lawmakers continue to oppose policy changes that promote stronger gun control measures.

“I think we could all see it coming. I wish the president had televised the meeting with the NRA like he televised the meeting with us,” said Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, referring to the March 1 meeting between Trump and a group of lawmakers. “Clearly, the NRA was more persuasive than I was.”

During the said meeting, Trump promised to support policies Democratic-backed policies that will introduce tougher gun control laws and repeatedly berated his fellow Republican officials for being petrified of the NRA. “They have great power over you people,” he told the senators. “They have less power over me.”

“Responding to the murder of 17 students and educators by endorsing the gun lobby’s platform is a shameful abdication of the president’s responsibility to lead,” said California Senator Dianne Feinstein.