In the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting, the very pro-gun White House is doing their best to save face. First, Trump didn’t even say the word “gun” in his speech about the tragedy, and now, the White House is refusing to release the photo of the President signing the bill that made it easier for people with mental illnesses to purchase a firearm. CBS News says it has been denied requests for the image a total of 13 times. As the news organization notes, the White House usually provides photos of resolution and bill signings, and the press is often invited to shoot their own footage.
45 signed HR Resolution 40 on February 28th last year. The bill repealed the Obama-era ruling that would have created a database of mentally ill American citizens, to prevent them from buying guns. President Obama had advocated for the policy after the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, which took the lives of 20 children between the ages of six and seven.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) lauded Trump’s decision to sign the bill as marking a “new era for law-abiding gun owners.” The NRA said in a statement, “We now have a president who respects and supports our right to keep and bear arms.” Perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also sided with Trump and the NRA on this issue, contending that there was no evidence suggesting that the mentally ill “have a propensity for violence in general or gun violence in particular.”