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President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visit first responders at Broward Health North Hospital in Pompano Beach, Florida. Photo: Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

President Trump has told associates that he doesn’t think high school kids should be able to buy guns, and is open to the idea of imposing a minimum purchase age of 21 for guns like those used in the Florida high school massacre, a source close to the president said.

But, but, but: The source cautioned that the conversations with the president have been relatively loose and open-ended so far. Nothing has been decided, or is close to decided, on the age question.

  • A federally licensed firearms dealer can't sell a long gun (rifle or shotgun) to someone under 18, or a handgun to someone under 21. Some states impose additional minimums.
  • At 4:15 p.m. today, Trump holds a "listening session" on guns with high school students and teachers in the White House's State Dining Room.

Trump announced yesterday that he had ordered the Justice Department to write regulations banning devices like the rapid-fire bump stocks used in last year’s Las Vegas massacre, saying: “We can do more to protect our children. We must do more to protect our children."

  • The White House said earlier that Trump is open to toughening background checks.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders left the door open to a change in the law when she was asked about age limits at the podium yesterday:

  • Q: "Does the President believe there should be an age limit for those who buy an AR-15? As you know, the shooter in Florida was a teenager when he first bought an AR-15." ...
  • Sanders: " 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."

Inside Trump's thinking: The Parkland deaths — and the constant coverage of the tragedy that he has been consuming — inflames his instincts to act, even if it contradicts what he campaigned on.

  • We're told that Trump has said privately: "We have to do something. We've got kids dying."
  • The "kids" part is important, and the images on TV have affected his conversation.

The calculus: Trump's closeness to the NRA gives him the political leeway to act, and would give him the bipartisan love he craves.

  • As he looks toward improving his standing in the suburbs ahead of his reelection race in 2020, nothing would give him more fawning from the "Morning Joe" crowd than taking on the NRA.
  • As Trump ponders this question, a few aides in the West Wing will wander down the corridor and tell him: "This is your moment. You’ll be a hero."

Be smart: All that said, Trump is ultimately unlikely to do anything dramatic on guns. He might play footsie with the gun control lobby, but he knows his absolutist Second Amendment stance played a big role in his election victory.

Get more stories like this by signing up for our weekly political lookahead newsletter, Axios Sneak Peek. 

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

The week markets went wild

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio

The markets just closed out a manic week.

Why it matters: Outsized — and in some cases historic — moves were evident across the board.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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