Watch CBS News

White House Backs Off Support For Raising Age To Buy Guns, Vows To Help Arm Teachers

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Just days before a nationwide school walkout to support stronger gun control laws, the White House has unveiled a new proposal to prevent school shootings.

The national protest on Wednesday comes just weeks after a 19-year-old with mental health problems shot up Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people.

Shortly after the shooting, President Donald Trump said he was not afraid to buck the National Rifle Association, and said he would support raising the minimum age to buy assault-style weapons from 18 to 21.

However, the White House has backed off that call to raise the age limit for some guns. Instead, the Trump administration has endorsed legislation to tighten background checks on gun buyers, and has vowed to provide "rigorous firearms training" as part of an initiative to arm some teachers and other school personnel.

During an interview on 60 Minutes, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said she would head up a commission that will explore ways to prevent school violence, including age requirements at the state level, and helping states that want to arm teachers.

"That should be an option for states and communities to consider," DeVos said of allowing teachers to carry guns. "For those who are capable, this is one solution that can and should be considered; but no one size fits all. Every state and every community is going to address this issue in a different way."

The White House said the commission also would study the impact of video games and press coverage on shootings, while also examining whether to repeal some Obama era programs.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.