Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today filed the Age 21 Act as an amendment to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the gun violence prevention bill pending before the Senate. The amendment would raise the minimum age to purchase assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines from 18 to 21.
Senator Feinstein reintroduced the Age 21 Act on May 19, five days after the massacre at a Buffalo supermarket and five days before the school shooting in Uvalde, each of which involved an 18-year-old who legally purchased an assault rifle.
“The Senate gun safety bill is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t address the major problem of teenagers owning weapons of war,” said Senator Feinstein. “It makes no sense that it’s illegal for someone under 21 to buy a handgun or even a beer, yet can legally buy an assault weapon. My amendment is a commonsense fix with broad public support that should receive bipartisan backing and I hope that it’s allowed a vote.”
- Under current federal law, an individual is required to be at least 21 years old to legally purchase a handgun but only 18 years of age to legally purchase an assault rifle like the AR-15 used by an 18-year-old shooter in Buffalo who killed 10 people.
- The amendment would create parity in federal firearms law by prohibiting the sale of assault weapons to individuals under 21.
- The Age 21 Act is supported by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Association of School Psychologists, the American School Counselor Association and the American Federation of Teachers.
- Senator Feinstein wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times earlier this month that laid out the reasons Congress should raise the minimum age to purchase an assault weapon to 21.