Trump addresses school safety, renews call for armed teachers

WASHINGTON — Three separate times on Friday, President Trump addressed his school safety agenda. Each time, he neglected to mention an idea he endorsed only Thursday: raising the minimum purchase age for semi-automatic firearms to 21. 

The president spoke to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Friday, and congressional sources say there’s no interest in pushing an age minimum.

The president again called for trained school personnel to carry concealed weapons.

“A teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened,” he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (L) participate in a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House February 23, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

During a press conference Friday, Mr. Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull discussed Australia’s near total ban on semi-automatic weapons. It was put in place after 35 people died in a 1996 massacre in Tasmania.

“Basically semi-automatic and let alone automatic weapons are essentially not available,” Turnbull said.

“We are very satisfied with our laws,” Turnbull said. “We maintain them. You have an amendment to your constitution which deals with gun ownership. You have a very, very different history.”

President Trump agreed.

“They’re very different countries with different sets of problems,” he said.

The Australian law created a national firearm registry and imposed a 28-day waiting period for firearms sales. The government also purchased and destroyed more than 600,000 firearms. No mass shootings have occurred in Australia since the law’s passage.

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