As Trump Flips on Background Checks, an 'Audacious' Plan

March for Our Lives' bold proposal calls for an assault weapons ban, raising gun-buying age
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2019 10:35 AM CDT
As Trump Flips on Background Checks, Activists Go Bold
David Hogg, a survivor of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., raises his fist after speaking during a March for Our Lives rally in support of gun control in Washington on March 24, 2018.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Student activists who survived the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., are responding to more recent mass shootings in a bold way: with a full-blown gun-control proposal. "It's nothing like anyone else is proposing. We are really setting audacious goals," March for Our Lives board member Tyah-Amoy Roberts says, per the Washington Post. In part, the proposal—"A Peace Plan for a Safer America"—would ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; create a mandatory gun buyback program, as well as a national gun registry; raise the minimum age for gun purchases from 18 to 21, and appoint a national director of gun violence prevention to report directly to the president, per the Post. "You see these shootings on TV every day and very little happening around it," says March for Our Lives co-founder David Hogg. "It's painful to watch."

The plan was unveiled a day after President Trump withdrew his support for stricter background checks, per the Guardian. Trump spoke on the phone with NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre on Tuesday before telling reporters, "It's a mental problem ... We have very, very strong background checks right now." He added, per the New York Times: "A lot of the people that put me where I am are strong believers in the Second Amendment, and I am also." A bipartisan gun legislation bill is unlikely to pass the Senate without his support, the Times notes. But March for Our Lives looks forward, noting "the next president must act with a fierce urgency" to address "a national public health emergency," per the Guardian. Some Democratic presidential candidates have backed elements of the group's plan, including gun licensing and an assault weapons ban. (More March for Our Lives stories.)

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