BREAKING: Trump Backs Raising Minimum Age For Purchasing Semi-Automatic Rifles to 21

The dumb headline by the Associated Press notwithstanding, for President Trump to come out in favor of this idea marks a significant departure from the position of the NRA. While Trump said he backed doing it for “all guns,” a spokesperson said he meant all semi-automatic rifles, putting them on par with handguns.

Of course, we once again have a restriction for adults who can vote and fight in wars but apparently are not ready to purchase firearms until they reach the legal drinking age. It’s something that will make almost no difference in the crime rate, but Trump wants to be liked, so he’s going ahead with it. For now. 

The nation should keep assault rifles out of the hands of anyone under 21, President Donald Trump declared Thursday, defying his loyal supporters in the National Rifle Association amid America’s public reckoning over gun violence. He also pushed hard for arming security guards and many teachers in U.S. schools.

“There’s nothing more important than protecting our children,” Trump said, adding that he’d spoken with many members of Congress and NRA officials and insisting they would go along with his plans in the wake of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.

But there were no words of support from the NRA for his age-limit proposal — and outright opposition from organizations of teachers and school security guards for the idea of arming schools to deal with intruders.

“The NRA will back it and so will Congress,” Trump contended as he called for raising the legal age of purchase for “all” guns from 18 to 21. A spokesman later said Trump was speaking specifically about semi-automatic weapons. The president’s proposal came just hours after the NRA affirmed its opposition, calling such a restriction an infringement on gun owners’ rights.

Except they’re not going to back it, Mr. President. Nor should they. This represents nothing but feel-good legislation, not something that will have a negligible effect on crime, including mass shootings. It’s the government, once again imposing restrictions on the vast majority of gun owners who have never committed a crime.