Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said at a congressional hearing on Tuesday that President Trump’s school safety commission which she chairs will not study potential changes to gun laws, POLITICO reports.
The White House’s fact sheet announcing the formation of the commission in March said that the panel, made up of Cabinet secretaries, “will study and make recommendations” on a range of areas, including “age restrictions for certain firearm purchases.”
DeVos was asked by Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, whether the school safety commission would examine guns.
“That is not part of the commission’s charge per se,” DeVos responded during testimony before the Senate appropriations subcommittee that oversees education funding. DeVos was there to testify on the department’s fiscal 2019 budget.
DeVos said that the commission would be focused on the roughly 20 areas that the White House had outlined for it.
“We’re actually studying school safety and how our students are safe at school,” she said.
A spokeswoman for the department confirmed to POLITICO that the commission is considering age restrictions on firearms and said the Justice Department has taken the lead on that particular issue.
The commission on school safety was formed following the mass school shooting in Parkland, FL, on Valentine’s Day. It’s made up of four Cabinet secretaries, including DeVos as chair, and according to POLITICO faced criticism when its first meetings were not made open to the public or press and didn‘t include teachers, administration professionals or students.