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Donald Trump: "Give Teachers Guns"

Donald Trump has emphasised he wants to see trained teachers able to carry concealed guns to ward off potential school shooters, saying he's spoken with the National Rifle Association about his ideas.

During an hour-long meeting on Thursday with state and local officials on school safety in the wake of last week's mass shooting in Florida, Trump brushed aside a suggestion of mandatory active-shooter drills for schools, and said he did not like the idea of having more armed guards in schools.

Trump also said he wanted to explore the idea of reopening closed mental institutions and said violence in movies watched by children should also be examined.

The February 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in which 17 students and staff members were killed, was the second-deadliest shooting at a US public school and has spurred unprecedented youth-led protests.

Trump initially raised the idea of arming teachers during an emotional, hour-long discussion with people affected by school shootings on Wednesday at the White House.

Trump's earlier tweets on Thursday showed him seeking a balance between satisfying those calling for controls on weapons, and not alienating the powerful NRA gun lobby.

He praised the NRA's leadership and others working at the organisation as "Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing.

"Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive. GREAT DETERRENT!"

Later, NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre delivered a defence of using guns to stop gun violence.

"We must immediately harden our schools," he said, adding students are "virtually wide open, soft targets for anyone bent on mass murder".

He said it should not be easier to shoot up a school than a bank or a jewellery store and claimed: "The elites don't care not one whit about America's school system and school children."

Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who has long opposed gun control measures, and a teacher who protected more than 60 people in her classroom in the Florida massacre, both questioned the notion of armed teachers during a CNN discussion.

Trump reiterated he would advocate tightening background checks for gun buyers, with an emphasis on mental health, and lifting the age limit to buy some kinds of guns.

Trump also stressed he would push for an end to the sale on bump stocks, which allow rifles to shoot hundreds of rounds a minute and which were used during another massacre in Las Vegas last year.

Trump responded on Twitter with the following:


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