Trump Backs Away From Raising Minimum Age For Gun Purchases

After President Donald Trump last week surprised his supporters and NRA members, by saying he would support increasing the age limit for buying long guns to 21, along with a raft of other measures including supporting a bill that would strengthen background checks, Trump appears to be backing away from his call to raise the age limit, according to CNN.

"He's obviously moving back from that," a key GOP congressional source said.

After promising that the NRA would go along with his plan, but the influential lobby came out against the idea. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, also expressed skepticism for the idea and said it might not have enough support to pass the Senate.

Another source close to the White House said Trump signaled as much in both his remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday and at the White House on Monday. The source asked how a soldier could be told he or she could use an assault weapon on the battlefield but not at home to protect his or her family. Last week, Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, said he was supportive of a bill with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California to "raise the minimum purchase age for non-military buyers from 18 to 21."

Another source close to the White House said Trump signaled as much in both his remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday and at the White House on Monday. The problem, as NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch famously articulated during a CNN town hall last week, is how do you tell an 18-year-old soldier that he or she can use an assault weapon on the battlefield but not at home.

Last week, Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, said he was supportive of a bill with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California to "raise the minimum purchase age for non-military buyers from 18 to 21."

To be sure, it isn't clear how committed Trump is to the issue. The President tweeted his support for the idea last week, and a few Republican senators, including Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, also voiced support for raising the age to 21.

Trump is set to meet with lawmakers on Wednesday to discuss the legislative response to the Parkland shooting. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wouldn't say exactly what would be discussed. Sanders said Trump has also instructed the ATF to find a way to outlaw bump stocks.

Meanwhile, Florida lawmakers late Monday rejected a proposed assault weapons ban. They did, however, approve raising the legal age for purchasing a firearm to 21 - while also approving legislation to allow teachers to carry guns in school, the Post reported.