Feinstein in the News

By Jordain Carney

Originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) introduced legislation Wednesday to raise the minimum age for buying weapons such as AR-15s.

The bill, one of several drafted in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, would increase the minimum age requirement from 18 to 21, making it the same as the requirement to buy a handgun. 

"This bipartisan fix is long overdue, and would’ve made as much sense before the tragedy in Parkland as it does after," Flake said.

Feinstein added: "If you can’t buy a beer, you shouldn’t be able to buy a weapon of war."

The legislation comes as lawmakers are under pressure to take action after the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting where 17 people were killed.

The suspect, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, allegedly used an AR-15. Federal law enforcement officials told The New York Times that the gun was purchased legally.

Trump on Wednesday urged a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Feinstein, to include the provision in any legislation they pass. 

Under federal law, gun dealers can't sell a handgun to anyone under 21.

But licensed gun dealers can sell "long guns," which include rifles, to anyone 18 and older, with most states having similar age restrictions, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Trump's comments Wednesday came as White House staff appears to be trying to temper his support for the measure, which is strongly opposed by the NRA. 

"In concept, the president still supports it, but in terms of legislation, we'd need to see what that looks like before we weigh in further," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.