March 1, 2018— Today, Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, applauded Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Representatives Anthony Brown (D-MD) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Steve Cohen (D-TN) for introducing bills to raise the minimum age for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle from 18 years old to 21. The legislation introduced by Senators Feinstein and Flake and Representatives Jackson Lee and Cohen also raise the minimum age of possession for these firearms to 21.
“It makes no sense that 18-year olds can’t legally buy a handgun, but they can walk into a gun store and walk out with an AR-15,” said Robin Lloyd, Director of Government Affairs at Giffords. “Kids in high school should not have weapons this lethal. It’s time we listen to law enforcement experts who have called to put proper restrictions in place so we can do more to keep our communities safe from gun violence, and I am encouraged that leaders on both sides of the aisle agree. Let’s listen to these lawmakers and pass this legislation.”
While waiting for Congress and President Trump to act, top firearms retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it would no longer sell semi-automatic firearms to individuals under 21. Walmart similarly announced it would require a minimum age of 21 in order purchase all firearms.