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Trump at a listening session with teachers and students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Photo: Ricky Carioti / The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump has apparently backed down from his plan to urge states to raise the age to purchase assault weapons to 21. Senior White House officials laying out his school safety agenda in a conference call on Sunday said the idea would be examined by a new Federal Commission on School Safety to be chaired by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

The backdrop: This comes after The National Rifle Association filed a federal lawsuit on Friday, seeking to overturn a new Florida law signed by Gov. Rick Scott that raises the age limit to 21 and includes a three-day waiting period on gun purchases. The group, which spent millions in support of Trump's presidential bid, said it violates Americans’ constitutional rights.

Asked during the call if the administration is concerned over that suit, an official responded: "N0, we're not concerned about the NRA here. ... We are very focused on ensuring that law enforcement has the mechanisms to" prevent and confiscate weapons from those who shouldn't obtain firearms "in keeping with due process."

Two big things the plan does include:

  • Through a partnership with local law enforcement, the Department of Justice will provide firearm training to school staff.
  • Trump is urging states to enact laws that would allow them to confiscate weapons from legal gun owners who pose a risk to themselves or others until a court has intervened.

Other elements:

  • Trump is urging lawmakers to pass a bipartisan measure from Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Tx) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT). It would hold federal agencies accountable for failing to properly document individuals’ criminal histories in the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check system.
  • He wants Congress to pass the STOP School Violence Act. It would offer grants to states to beef up school security, implement systems to comb through reported threats and identify warning signs of potentially violent behavior.
  • The administration wants to increase mental heath and family care services at school, and order an audit of the FBI's tip line in response to the agency's failures before the Florida school shooting.

DeVos' school safety commission:

  • DeVos said the commission will include practitioners, teachers and other stakeholders to identify measures and policies, such as "increasing access and transparency to mental health services."
  • The administration has not set a timeline to present policy proposals, but DeVos vowed to "move with urgency."

Go deeper: The scramble to keep schools safe.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
10 mins ago - Economy & Business

The pandemic isn't slowing tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.

Texas early voting surpasses 2016's total turnout

Early voting in Austin earlier this month. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Texas' early and mail-in voting totals for the 2020 election have surpassed the state's total voter turnout in 2016, with 9,009,850 ballots already cast compared to 8,969,226 in the last presidential cycle.

Why it matters: The state's 38 Electoral College votes are in play — and could deliver a knockout blow for Joe Biden over President Trump — despite the fact that it hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976.

Wall Street braces for more turbulence ahead of Election Day

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Wall Street is digging in for a potentially rocky period as Election Day gets closer.

Why it matters: Investors are facing a "three-headed monster," Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets, tells Axios — a worsening pandemic, an economic stimulus package in limbo, and an imminent election.

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