Flake introduces bill that would hike age limit to buy assault-style weapons
PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) introduced a bill Wednesday that would raise the minimum age requirement to purchase an assault-style weapon.
“If the law says someone under the age of 21 is too young to purchase a handgun, than it ought to say they’re too young to purchase an assault weapon,” Flake said in a release.
The senator said he partnered with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to author the bill after 17 people were killed in a Valentine’s Day shooting at a Florida high school.
“This bipartisan fix is long overdue, and would’ve made as much sense before the tragedy in Parkland as it does after,” he said. “I hope we can work together to get this passed and signed into law without delay.”
Feinstein described the current law — which allows people as young as 18 to buy an assault-style rifle — as “dangerous.”
“If you can’t buy a beer, you shouldn’t be able to buy a weapon of war,” she said in the release.
“While we need to do much more to reform our gun laws, ensuring teenagers can’t legally buy weapons of war is a commonsense step forward.”
President Donald Trump’s administration may be open to such a bill hitting the president’s desk. During a media briefing on last week, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said an age limit was under consideration.
“I think that’s certainly something that’s on the table for us to discuss and that we expect to come up over the next couple of weeks,” she said.
On Wednesday, the president encouraged Congress to act quickly on gun laws that could include tougher background checks, better school safety and more mental health resources to prevent shootings.
“We can’t wait and play games and nothing gets done,” Trump said as he opened a meeting with 17 House and Senate lawmakers. “We want to stop the problems.”
Trump has already urged the Justice Department to ban certain weapon modifications, such as so-called “bump stocks” used in the Las Vegas massacre.
Semi-automatic rifles — the AR-15 in particular — have come under scrutiny in recent months as they have become a favored weapon of multiple mass shooters.
One was allegedly used during last week’s school shooting in Florida that left at least 17 dead, while others were used in shootings in Nevada, Texas, California and other states.