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Trump Promises More Executive Orders to Come, Will Eliminating Gun-Free Zones be One of Them?

Trump Promises More Executive Orders to Come, Will Eliminating Gun-Free Zones be One of Them?

While campaigning, President Donald Trump once promised he would ban gun-free zones in schools on his first day in office. Not long after, he clarified that he would mandate trained teachers and school resource officers to be the ones wielding firearms.

Turning out to be a man of his word, Trump has spent his first few days in office signing executive order after executive order to fulfill promises he made during his campaign.

Yesterday, Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer indicated more executive orders are on the horizon. When asked by a reporter whether Trump would "get rid of gun-free zones in schools and on military bases," he responded:

"I think you've seen that the President has been very active in terms of getting executive orders out and following up on the campaign pledges that he made to the American people last night [referring to Neil Gorsuch's supreme court nomination], being another example of that. We're going to continue to move through this process, and I think we'll have further updates on where we are with respect to the rest of the EO process."

By not explicitly dismissing the idea, Spicer left open the possibility that eliminating gun-free zones in schools could be part of one of those orders.

According to Politifact, it would be a hard order to implement.

It would require Congress "to repeal the most current 'gun-free zone act,' or pass a bill that would eliminate the restrictions. Even if that happened, it would only be a step in the right direction, not a complete victory for Trump," Politifact said.

Plus, even after a federal law prohibiting guns in school zones were to be overturned, the individual regulations different states have would need to be overturned, as well.

It's possible, but Politifact says the timeline to abolish gun-free zones in all schools would be a lengthy one.

Those who oppose eliminating gun-free zones say it will unnecessarily detract from learning and has the potential to put students even further at risk.

Says Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America:

"We are not sending our kids [to school] to learn to duck and cover," and "we are not preparing our educators to be sharp shooters."

Most plans to eliminate gun-free zones involve arming school resource officers and even K-12 educators in the process. Many education advocates say this will result in too much stress for educators who are there to teach, not to learn how to fire weapons.

Opponents argue that carrying firearms should be left strictly up to trained professionals who are hired for purposes of protection, something that amending current gun laws would detract from.

Supporters, on the other hand, argue that gun-free zones are "bait" for armed individuals set to do harm.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

2/2/2017

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