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Givan introduces bill to raise age limit to purchase assault weapons to 21

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

State Rep. Juandalynn Givan, D-Birmingham, introduced legislation Wednesday that would raise the minimum age to purchase an assault weapon in Alabama from 18 to 21.

The bill would prohibit the sale or transfer of an assault weapon to any person under 21 and would also prohibit any person under 21 from possessing an assault weapon.

Given includes a lengthy description of “assault weapons” in the legislation that she introduced on Thursday.

There seems to be a lot of momentum for this or similar legislation after the school shooting in Florida where a 19-year-old former student went to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and gunned down 17 people with a firearm reported to be an AR-15.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Florida, went even further with proposing a bill that would strip teens of the ability to buy any rifle.

“I absolutely believe that in this country, if you are 18 years of age you should not be able to buy a rifle. I will support a law that takes that right away,” Rubio said.

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U.S. Senator Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, has said on Twitter that he is working on bipartisan legislation that would do that.

Flake wrote that he is “working with [Feinstein] on a bipartisan bill that will raise the minimum purchase age for non-military buyers from 18 to 21 — the same age you currently have to be to purchase a handgun.”

On Thursday, President Donald Trump hosted a round table discussion on school security at the White House.

“There is nothing more important than protecting our children,” Trump said on Twitter. “They deserve to be safe and we will deliver.”

He commented further in another tweet.

“I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health. Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks! Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue–I hope!,” Trump said.

While semi-automatic rifles and other “long guns” are often the weapons of choice of mass murderers, most murders in the U.S. are actually committed using handguns.  More people were killed with knives in 2016 than rifles and shotguns combined.

The National Rifle Association has already announced that they oppose legislation raising the age to purchase firearms to 21.

“We need serious proposals to prevent violent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from acquiring firearms,” Jennifer Baker, NRA Public Affairs Director, said. “Passing a law that makes it illegal for a 20 year-old to purchase a shotgun for hunting or an adult single mother from purchasing the most effective self-defense rifle on the market punishes law-abiding citizens for the evil acts of criminals.”

“I call on every citizen who loves this country and treasures its freedom to stand and unflinchingly defend the Second Amendment, the one freedom that protects us all,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said.

(Original reporting by the Hill’s Brett Samuels and CNN contributed to this report.)

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