White House 'praises' gun violence rally, but no word from Trump

ANI | Updated: Mar 25, 2018 03:45 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar 25 (ANI): The White House has 'applauded' the historic and gigantic "March for Our Lives" rally which is underway in Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. and elsewhere in the US.

Thousands of people flooded the Pennsylvania Avenue in the American capital for the anti-gun movement on March 24 to support tougher gun controls, in the wake of last month's shooting at a Florida school, which claimed 17 lives.

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School in Parkland, Florida are organising the massive protests in collaboration with the nonprofit organisation, "Everytown for Gun Safety." The motto of the protests is Never Again MSD.

In a statement, White House spokesperson Lindsey Walters said, "We applaud the many courageous young Americans exercising their first amendment rights today."

"Keeping our children safe is a top priority of the president's, (Donald Trump) which is why he urged Congress to pass the Fix Nics and Stop School Violence Acts, and signed them into law. Additionally, on Friday, the Department of Justice issued the rule to ban bump stocks following through on the president's commitment to ban devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns," she added.

The Fix Nics 2017 Act would tighten the country's background checks system. Nics stands for the National Instant Background Checks System. The legislation provides federal agencies with a few more incentives to submit records to the background check system, The Guardian reported.

The Stop School Violence Act would authorize USD 50 million in grant funding for campus safety improvements, including training for local law enforcement and faculty and the development of an anonymous reporting system to identify early warning signs of potential threats.

Both the laws were part of USD 1.3 trillion omnibus government bill that President Trump signed on Friday.

Meanwhile, the US President is yet to react to the anti-gun-violence demonstration, which is being conducted by the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a suspended student went on a shooting rampage, killing 17 students on February 14.

President Trump, who championed himself as a strong supporter of gun rights, has taken several different positions on new legislation in the aftermath of the Florida shooting.

He has proposed arming teachers while backing away from earlier statements about raising the legal age to purchase a semi-automatic weapon from 18 to 21.

On Friday, President Trump ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to issue a new rule banning the use of bump stocks, which are generally used to modify semi-automatic weapons so that they can fire more rapidly.

The decision comes after a letter was sent by the Republican senators in October last year urging the administration to review the decision after a mass shooter used the device in killing 58 people at a country music concert in Las Vegas.

It was the deadliest attack to ever take place on US soil, since the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Last month, President Trump recommended a ban on 'bump stocks' gun devices and directed his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions to make the proposed changes in the country's gun control law.

19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student, claimed responsibility for the shooting in the Florida school and was expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons. He has been booked on 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Following this, massive protests were held by students across the US to pressurise the Trump administration for tougher gun measures.

Last week, students from more than 3,000 schools took to the streets from Washington to Los Angeles and from New York to Parkland on National Walkout Day to call for action against gun violence. (ANI)