'Gun free' schools are magnets for 'bad people' - Trump

2018-02-22 18:04
US President Donald Trump. (Mandel Ngan, AFP)

US President Donald Trump. (Mandel Ngan, AFP)

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Washington - A "gun free" school is nothing but a "magnet" for mass shooters, President Donald Trump said on Thursday, doubling down on a proposal to train and arm some teachers to keep US schools safe.

"Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive. GREAT DETERRENT!" Trump tweeted.

At a White House meeting late Wednesday with survivors of a shooting rampage at a Florida high school that killed 17 people, Trump suggested arming a select group of teachers to deter mass shootings.

"I never said 'give teachers guns' like was stated on Fake News @CNN &@NBC," Trump tweeted.

"What I said was to look at the possibility of giving 'concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience - only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to

...immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions.

"Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A 'gun free' school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!"

At the Wednesday meeting, billed as a "listening session," Trump also promised "very strong" background checks on gun owners.

"I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health," Trump tweeted Thursday.

"Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks! Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue - I hope!"

Currently under federal law anyone 18 or over can buy a gun from a private, unlicensed seller, although a handful of states have set the minimum age at 21.

"Bump stocks" are legal devices that clip on to the back end of a rifle and harness the gun's recoil, essentially turning a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic one.

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