Politics & Policy

White House Says It ‘Still Supports’ Stricter Gun-Buying Age Limits

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds a daily briefing at the White House, March 12, 2018. (Leah Mills/Reuters)
Despite their absence from a gun-control and school-safety plan the administration released Monday, the enhanced restrictions remain a goal of President Trump’s, his spokesperson said.

The White House clarified Monday that President Trump still wants to raise the age to purchase an assault-style rifle from 18 to 21, after he appeared to be backing away from the idea earlier in the day.

The stricter age restrictions were not included in a package of gun-control and school-safety proposals the administration released Monday morning, though the plan did recommend studying the issue further. Trump also tweeted before the package was released that the restrictions had “not much political support (to put it mildly).”

But White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later told reporters that Trump “hasn’t backed away from these things at all” and “still supports” age restrictions on gun purchases, but is looking for the “best path forward” to making the restrictions a reality. In the meantime, Sanders said, the administration’s “primary focus” will be on actions that can be taken more immediately, whether through the executive branch or Congress.

“We haven’t let go of some of those other things that we’re going to continue to review and look at,” she added. “Because the president does have to work within the Constitution. We can’t just write things down and make them law.”