President Donald Trump appears to be backing away from his call last week to increase the age limit to 21 for some weapons, sources told CNN.
Trump last week verbally embraced a handful of measures, including appearing to support raising the age limit from 18 for some gun purchases – but sources close to the discussions between the White House and Congress on gun control said it appears that the President is changing his position.
“He’s obviously moving back from that,” a key GOP congressional source said.
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.”
A White House official said it is not 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.
The National Rifle Association came out against raising the minimum age last week, and Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, expressed skepticism for the idea and said it might not have enough support to pass the Senate.
White House meeting set for Wednesday
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday that Trump will meet with lawmakers on Wednesday to discuss legislative solutions in response to the Parkland, Florida, school shooting.
Trump will meet with lawmakers from both parties, Sanders said.
Sanders declined to say specifically what measures Trump would support with regard to raising the age of purchase for certain firearms and strengthening background checks. She said that would be discussed with lawmakers on Wednesday.
Sanders said that Trump has directed the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to find a way to outlaw bump fire stocks through executive action. If that can’t be accomplished, Sanders said, Trump would support a “legislative solution” to outlaw the devices.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correctly state that the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have been tasked with finding a way to outlaw bump fire stocks through executive action.