Ryan: Arming teachers a decision for local government

Ryan: Arming teachers a decision for local government
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAEI names Robert Doar as new president GOP can't excommunicate King and ignore Trump playing to white supremacy and racism House vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King MORE (R-Wis.) said Tuesday he personally backs President TrumpDonald John TrumpDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Lady Gaga blasts Pence as ‘worst representation of what it means to be Christian’ We have a long history of disrespecting Native Americans and denying their humanity MORE’s idea of arming trained teachers and faculty in public schools, but said the decision should be left up to local and state governments.

“That really is a question for local government, for local and state,” Ryan said at his weekly leadership news conference in the Capitol. “As a parent myself and as a citizen, I think it’s a good idea. But as Speaker of the House, I think we need to respect federalism and respect local jurisdictions.”

Ryan was peppered with questions about what Congress is doing to prevent another mass shooting like the one in Parkland, Fla., where a 19-year-old gunman opened fire at a high school, killing 17 students and faculty members.

Asked whether he supported specific gun reforms, the Speaker said he did not want to “micromanage” the legislative process.

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But Ryan did reiterate support for the Fix NICS Act, which strengthens but does not expand the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The House, he said, is waiting for the Senate to act on a House-passed package that coupled the Fix NICS Act with legislation loosening restrictions on concealed-carry permit holders.

“We shouldn’t be banning guns for law-abiding citizens. We should be focused on making sure that citizens who should not have guns in the first place don’t get those guns,” Ryan said.

Emerging from a closed-door GOP conference meeting, rank-and-file Republicans suggested tougher oversight of law enforcement agencies is needed in the wake of the Parkland shooting.

“In this particular case,” Ryan said, “there were a lot of breakdowns from local law enforcement to the FBI getting tips that they didn’t follow up on to school resource officers who were trained to protect kids in these schools and who didn’t do that.”