WH moots arming teachers, drops move to raise age to buy guns

| | Washington

Faced with the challenge of school safety amid mounting gun violence, the White House has come out with a plan to aid States to provide “rigorous firearms training” to some teachers and other school personnel, but has dropped President Donald Trump’s earlier proposal to raise the minimum age to buy certain categories of guns from 18 to 21.

The plan that comes in the wake of the Florida school shooting last month that left 17 people dead speaks of the need to “harden” schools across America by instituting security procedures comparable to those in airports, sports stadiums and government buildings. As part of this push, it wants States to use federal grants to train school personnel to carry weapons “on a voluntary basis”.

The White House, which has endorsed a Bill pending in Congress to tighten the federal background checks on gun buyers, is also establishing a Federal Commission on School Safety to recommend policy measures, including age restrictions and other changes in laws, to prevent school violence. It also moots expansion and overhaul of mental health programmes to identify and treat people such as the Florida shooter, who reportedly had mental health issues.

“We are committed to working quickly because there’s no time to waste,” said Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who will head the commission.



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