Local leaders weigh in on President Trump's proposal on gun viol - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Local leaders weigh in on President Trump's proposal on gun violence

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President Donald Trump (AP) President Donald Trump (AP)

The Trump administration is ready to unveil what changes in gun policy the president will support.

Some say the president's plan is much more NRA-friendly than the proposal he threw out in the days following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The president’s plan includes helping states pay for firearms training for volunteer teachers, a call to improve the background check system, and a focus on mental health.

Connecticut leaders weighed in on the proposal on Monday.

Gov. Dannel Malloy said, “Just days after he looked the American people in the eye and promised real action to prevent gun violence, President Trump is proposing a plan that will appease his allies in the NRA but do very little to keep our children safe. The most encouraging part of his proposal, the President's endorsement of the 'Fix NICS' act, will help ensure existing law is followed, but it does nothing to ensure all gun sales are subject to background checks. Other aspects of his plan are grossly negligent and dangerously ill-informed, particularly arming teachers. Putting guns in the hands of educators is the wrong way to go about making our learning environments safer and healthier places for children to grow and thrive. In Connecticut, we serve as an example that it is possible to fortify our schools without turning them into fortresses. It’s time for the Trump Administration to drop the NRA talking points and get serious about engaging in a real discussion about school safety, which entails talking about positive school climates. And despite the President's lackluster proposals, Connecticut will continue to lead. We must act this session to ban bump stocks and make additional investments in school security."

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman commented as well, saying “The country is demanding action on guns—civic groups are raising their voices in state houses and on Capitol Hill, student groups are marching for their lives, and influential members of the business community are stepping up for the public safety. Legislators in states throughout the nation have chosen the lives of their residents over bulking up the campaign war chest. This is what leadership looks like. More guns in classrooms aren’t the answer. Comprehensive background checks, restricting civilian use of weapons of war, and banning bump stocks will protect the public and should be federal law. Connecticut will continue to lead, continue to put residents and the public safety first.”

State Department of Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell said “As education leaders it is our responsibility to foster a school climate that supports student achievement and well-being in which children feel welcome, accepted, valued and – above all – safe and secure. That is why I have always been proponent of, among other safety measures, utilizing school-based health and wellness centers to ensure students are happy, healthy and ready to learn. Schools are not prisons or fortresses and so my definition of safe schools keeps the focus where it belongs: on teaching and learning.”

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty released a statement on Monday saying "Two weeks ago when I met with the president at the White House he said that he wasn’t afraid of the NRA and that members of Congress shouldn’t be either,” Esty said. “And yet, with few exceptions, the Administration’s plan is a near total surrender to that same gun lobby. The administration’s plan does nothing to expand background checks, says nothing about the gun lobby’s dangerous proposal to arm anyone, anywhere, anytime with concealed weapons, offers nothing in terms of funding for gun violence research, and only makes a modest suggestion for states to adopt extreme risk protection orders to get guns out of the hands of those who pose a danger to themselves or others. Worse still, it continues to embrace the dangerous notion that guns in the hands of educators will somehow protect our kids. We need real action on gun safety in America now. That means building on the positive aspects of this proposal, such as closing the gaps in the NICS system, and giving students and educators the tools to spot and report signs of violence in our schools. It means remembering that Aurora, San Bernardino, Orlando, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, and countless other shootings that happened in communities across the country every day didn’t happen in classrooms at all, and that more comprehensive action is needed if we’re going to keep Americans safe everywhere. President Trump promised to be bold and save lives. This plan fails to live up to that promise.”

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal also released a statement saying "This announcement is more talk and theatrics than action – sadly these proposals seem straight from the NRA's playbook,” said Blumenthal. “By taking two giant steps back for every one small step forward, this proposal simply fails to meet the moment. Arming teachers is an absolutely abhorrent response to school shootings – opposed by law enforcement, students, and educators alike. Although I’m proud to be a leading Senate co-sponsor of Fix NICS and the STOP School Violence Act, these bills only scratch the surface of what is necessary to address the epidemic of gun violence in our country. It should not escape anyone’s notice that President Trump seems to have received a permission slip from the NRA to express support for these bills, but no others. The President couldn’t even summon the political courage to propose raising the age limit on firearm purchases – despite his repeated promise to support such a step at a meeting with lawmakers. If President Trump really wants to prove that his priority is the American people and not the NRA, he should state his unequivocal support for universal background checks, federal extreme risk protection orders, and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. A groundswell of grassroots energy – led by students – must move Congress to take meaningful action in the absence of presidential leadership.”

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