Wait, What? Trump's Odd Stance On Guns In Schools

by Morgan Brinlee

The presumptive Republican nominee seemed a tad confused about one of his own policies Sunday while chatting with Fox & Friends. While speaking to the morning news show via phone, Donald Trump wavered from wanting guns in schools to not and back again in a series of contradictory statements that left viewers' heads spinning. So, how does the Donald feel about gun-free zones on school campuses?

In a statement that contrasted sharply with ones he's made earlier in his campaign, Trump jumped from denying he wanted guns in school classrooms to arguing there were some cases where teachers should have guns in classrooms on Sunday's episode of Fox & Friends. The Republican candidate, who received an endorsement from the National Rifle Association (NRA) on Friday, seemed to want to have his cake but eat it too.

I don't want to have guns in classrooms, although in some cases teachers should have guns in classrooms, frankly... I'm not advocating guns in classrooms. But remember in some cases... trained teachers should be able to have guns in classrooms.

What made Trump's statements even more puzzling is the fact they came just one a day after he took to Twitter to deny Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton's claim he supported guns in schools. "Crooked Hillary said that I want guns brought into the school classroom. Wrong!" the real estate mogul tweeted. In turning her attention toward a general election race against Trump (and away from her primary contest against Sen. Bernie Sanders), Clinton had tweeted, "FACT: Donald Trump would force schools to allow guns in classrooms on his first day in office" early last week.

Further confusing things for the presumptive Republican nominee is the fact that his Sunday statements conflict with things he's said while out on the campaign trail during the presidential primary. In January, for example, Trump told a large crowd in Vermont he planned to get rid of gun-free zones on schools and on military bases. "My first day, it gets signed," the Washington Post reported Trump said. "My first day. There’s no more gun-free zones."

Public schools were established as gun-free zones were established after President George H.W. Bush signed the Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) into law in 1990, effectively barring "unauthorized individuals" from possessing a firearm in a school zone.

When pressed by The Outdoor Channel on how he'd require public schools, which traditionally fall under state legislation, to obey a mandate to abolish gun-free zones, Trump remained committed to his initial statement on wanting to allow guns on school campuses. "I'm going to get rid of the gun-free zones on the military bases. I’m also going to do it in schools," he said. "I’m going to work with the states, and if I have to, I’m going to try and perhaps override the states if I have to, if I'm allowed to do that... But we can’t have gun-free zones where, I see schools advertise, ‘We are a gun-free zone.’ And then you have these crazy people out there saying, 'Boy, this is the most incredible thing,' and that’s happening."

The issue of whether teachers or staff should be allowed to bring a gun into a public school has become a controversial topic in American politics as the number of school shootings appears to rise and will likely play a large role in the general election.