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Trump gun plan doesn't involve raising age to buy assault rifles

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.

Haley Britzky 4 hours ago
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DOJ eyeing tool to allow access to encrypted data on smartphones

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

The Justice Department is in "a preliminary stage" of discussions about requiring tech companies building "tools into smartphones and other devices" that would allow law enforcement investigators to access encrypted data, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: This has been on the FBI's mind since 2010, and last month the White House "circulated a memo...outlining ways to think about solving the problem," officials told the Times. Both FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, support finding ways for law enforcement to access data without compromising devices security.

Haley Britzky 4 hours ago
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Media tycoon Barry Diller talks #MeToo

 IAC & Expedia, Inc. Chairman & Senior Executive Barry Diller
IAC & Expedia, Inc. Chairman & Senior Executive Barry Diller. Photo: Cindy Ord / Getty Images for Yahoo

Barry Diller, chairman of mega-media and Internet company IAC, told the New York Times he thinks "all men are guilty," when it comes to "the spectrum" of the #MeToo movement.

"I hope in the future for some form of reconciliation. Because I think all men are guilty. I’m not talking about rape and pillage. I’m not talking about Harveyesque. I’m talking about all of the spectrum. From an aggressive flirt. Or even just a flirty-flirt that has one sour note in it. Or what I think every man was guilty of, some form of omission in attitude, in his views."

Why it matters: The #MeToo movement has rocked Hollywood and the media industry. Diller told the Times he sees the effects of this "in our companies, where the relationships between people are changing."