White House applauds gun violence protesters for 'exercising their First Amendment rights'

White House applauds gun violence protesters for 'exercising their First Amendment rights'
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The White House on Saturday issued a statement on the "March for Our Lives" protest against gun violence, applauding students for “exercising their First Amendment rights.”

“We applaud the many courageous young Americans exercising their First Amendment rights today,” White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement.

Walters underscored efforts President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN analyst Kirsten Powers: Melania's jacket should read 'Let them eat cake' CNN's Cuomo confronts Lewandowski over 'womp womp' remark Sessions says FBI agent Peter Strzok no longer has his security clearance MORE has taken on school safety, including support for bills strengthening the background check system for gun purchases and an anti-school violence act while also moving to ban bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly.

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“Keeping our children safe is a top priority of the President’s, which is why he urged Congress to pass the Fix NICS [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] and STOP School Violence Acts, and signed them into law,” the statement read. “Additionally, on Friday, the Department of Justice issued the rule to ban bump stocks following through on the President’s commitment to ban devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns."

The White House issued the statement as hundreds of thousands of young people and gun control activists flooded Washington, D.C., and cities around the world for anti-gun violence demonstrations, calling on lawmakers to take action.

Trump, who is spending the weekend at his private Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, has not personally weighed in on the demonstrations yet.

The survivors of the school shooting in Florida last month organized the "March for Our Lives" to demand that lawmakers act on gun control. The students have been harshly critical of Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioPolitical figures pay tribute to Charles Krauthammer Senate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump Hillicon Valley: New FTC chief eyes shake up of tech regulation | Lawmakers target Google, Huawei partnership | Microsoft employees voice anger over ICE contract MORE (R-Fla.) and other GOP lawmakers for accepting donations from the National Rifle Association.