White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday dodged questions about specific legislation President Donald Trump would support in order to prevent future mass shootings, like the one that left 17 people dead last week in Parkland, Florida.
“The President in 2000 did support an assault weapons ban. What’s his position now? Is he open to reinstating the ban?” NPR’s Mara Liasson asked Sanders during her daily press briefing.
“I don’t have any specific announcements, but we haven’t closed the door on any front,” Sanders replied. “Again, that’s what the next several days and weeks will be, to have conversations and to see what this process looks like, and to see what areas we can help make changes to and in what places that we can do better.”
She said that President Donald Trump “specifically” supports making background checks “more efficient and looking at better ways to improve that process.”
“We’re going to continue to look at a number of other factors as well,” Sanders said.
“Does the President believe there should be an age limit for those who buy an AR-15?” CNN’s Pamela Brown asked later, referring to the kind of rifle the alleged Florida gunman used. “As you know, the shooter in Florida was a teenager when he first bought an AR-15.”
“I know there are currently laws in place in certain states that restrict that. In terms of whether or not we make that federal policy, that hasn’t yet been determined,” Sanders replied. “But I think that’s certainly something that’s on the table for us to discuss and that we expect to come up over the next couple of weeks.”
Trump on Tuesday afternoon announced that he had instructed the Justice Department to move to ban bump stocks, which a gunman allegedly used during the Oct. 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, and other devices that allow semi-automatic rifles to fire like automatic rifles.
“Just a few moments ago, I signed a memorandum directing the attorney general to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns,” he said.
Trump said he expected the regulations to be finalized “very soon.”
The NRA endorsed such a move following the Las Vegas massacre, saying in a statement last year that it “believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
Survivors of last week’s shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, said on Sunday that lawmakers who take money from the National Rifle Association deserve a “badge of shame” for using students “as collateral.”