Press Release

Giffords Applauds Reintroduction of Legislation to Raise the Age to Purchase Semi-Automatic Assault Rifles to 21

May 9, 2019 — Today, Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization founded and led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, applauded Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for reintroducing the Age 21 Act, legislation to raise the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic assault rifles and shotguns to 21 years old. The current minimum age to purchase semi-automatic rifles and shotguns is 18.

“Time after time, a young person with assault weapons has caused devastation and forever changed communities like Parkland, Newtown, and Columbine,” said Robin Lloyd, Managing Director at Giffords. “Assault weapons are a common thread in mass shootings. These weapons make it easy to maximize casualties in a short amount of time, yet are easier to buy than handguns in most places. Several states have passed legislation to prevent people under 21 from accessing these weapons, and it’s time for Congress to follow their lead. We are thankful to Senator Feinstein for introducing this bill and working to make our country safer.”

Since the February 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, four states have addressed the ability of individuals under age 21 to access firearms: California, Florida, Vermont, and Washington. Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart, America’s largest firearms retailer, have similarly raised the minimum age required to purchase certain or all firearms to 21. 72 percent of Americans, including 63 percent of people in gun-owning households, support raising the age to purchase long guns to 21.

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