Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today introduced the Age 21 Act, a bill that would raise the minimum age to purchase assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines from 18 to 21.
Introduction of the bill follows a mass shooting in Buffalo that killed 10 people. The shooter was an 18-year-old who was legally allowed to purchase an assault rifle, even though it remains illegal for anyone under 21 to buy a handgun.
The Buffalo shooting follows similar shootings where a gunman under the age of 21 was able to legally purchase an assault weapon. This includes the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where the gunman killed 17 and injured 17 people and a 2019 shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, Calif., where the gunman killed one person and injured three people using legally purchased assault weapons.
The bill is cosponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
“The recent shooting in Buffalo showed us yet again the tragic consequences when young people can so easily obtain a deadly assault weapon,” said Senator Feinstein. “This bill won’t prevent all mass shootings, but it’s a small step that I hope will start to bring some sense of sanity back to our nation concerning firearms. 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.
“In the wake of this latest tragedy, I hope my Republican colleagues can at least support this small commonsense measure that would establish parity with regard to gun purchasing age.”
- 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 legislation would create parity in federal firearms law by prohibiting the sale of assault weapons to individuals under 21.