AP NEWS

Ryan Costello: Arming teachers goes too far, focus should be on background checks

February 26, 2018 GMT

Rep. Ryan Costello said Monday that the background system needs to work better in order to prevent these mass shootings, but said he largely agrees with President Trump’s proposal.

“The NICS system needs to work better that we need to make sure that all the data gets in there. We need to compel states to do that. We need to prevent tragedies,” Mr. Costello, Pennsylvania Republican, said on MSNBC. He was referring to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The congressman said that he disagrees with the idea of arming teachers, but said he agrees the purchasing age should be raised to 21 years old for a rifle. When asked about “assault weapons,” he said there is no one universal definition of an assault weapon, and before he agrees to a ban, the definition needs to be clarified.

“We all need to have the same definition of it,“Mr. Costello said.

But when asked specifically about the AR-15, he agreed there wasn’t a reason to continue selling the weapon.The mass shooting on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida, brought the issue of gun violence back to the forefront of the political debate. Seventeen people were killed at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School when the suspected gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, opened fire using an AR-15.