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White House expected to unveil gun and school safety proposals

Posted at 5:30 PM, Mar 11, 2018

More than three weeks after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, the White House is expected to unveil some proposals on guns and school safety.

"The President and White House are going to be laying out more specifics -- it's going to be a series of proposals," White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah said on ABC's "This Week."

Shah said the proposals will be legislative and administrative and also will include recommendations for states. The White House will also be forming a task force to study the issue, Shah said.

Shah avoided answering whether the White House will call for universal background checks, which President Donald Trump has said he would support, and instead spoke about improving the current background check system. The White House backs the "Fix NICS" bill introduced by Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, and Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, which intends to improve the information going into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The White House will also support raising the age for buying some firearms.

"The President has been clear that he does support raising the age to 21 for purchasing certain firearms," Shah said.

The White House is expected to ask states to consider raising the age to buy certain firearms and to recommend that states allow school staff to carry concealed weapons, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday, citing White House officials who have been briefed on the proposal.

The White House also is expected to voice support for legislation that would authorize $50 million a year on school safety provisions, including training for teachers and students on ways to prevent violence.

Shah, who would not confirm the Journal's reporting ahead of Sunday night's announcement, did tell ABC that there will be a proposal to harden schools.

The administration is already moving ahead with a proposal to ban bump fire stocks, devices that allow semiautomatic weapons to fire at a more rapid rate, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions has vowed to do. The Justice Department has submitted a proposed regulation to the Office of Management and Budget for review to prohibit their sale by classifying them as machine guns under federal law.