Trump quietly used regulations to expand gun access
The president said he has taken tough action on guns. His administration has mostly focused on expanding gun access through little-noticed regulatory moves.
By ANITA KUMAR
08/07/2019 05:03 AM EDT
President Donald Trump this week said his administration has done “much more than most” to curb mass shootings in the United States.
While Trump boasts of action on firearms, his administration has eased gun restrictions over the past 2½ years.
Federal agencies have implemented more than half a dozen policy changes — primarily through little-noticed regulatory moves — that expand access to guns by lifting firearms bans in certain locations and limiting the names in the national database designed to keep firearms away from dangerous people. The administration asked the Supreme Court to overturn New York City restrictions on transporting handguns outside homes. And it pushed to allow U.S. gunmakers to more easily sell firearms overseas, including the types used in mass shootings.
“This president has in a very intentional, sweeping way made it easier for people to access firearms, not more difficult,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), a vice chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. “He’s systematically gone and undone all the protections that were put in place to try to limit the ability of dangerous people to access firearms.”
Trump’s critics say they aren’t surprised by his actions after he received an early and strong endorsement from the National Rifle Association, which spent $30 million to help his 2016 campaign and to blast his Democratic opponent in TV ads. After he was sworn into office, Trump vowed repeatedly to repay gun owners for their support.
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