On February 28th, President Trump again called for raising the minimum legal age to purchase all guns to age 21 during a meeting with lawmakers on guns and school safety.
“I’m going to give it a lot of consideration,” Trump said. “People aren’t bringing it up because they’re afraid to bring it up. You can’t buy a handgun at 18, 19 or 20. You have to wait until you’re 21. You could buy the weapon used in this horrible shooting at 18. You are going to decide – the people in this room pretty much – are going to decide. I would give very serious thought to it.”
While noting the NRA’s opposition to proposals to raise the minimum age to purchase firearms, the president made the case that raising the minimum age is common sense.
“The NRA is opposed to it and I’m a fan of the NRA. No bigger fan. I’m a big fan of the NRA. These are great people. Great patriots. They love our country but that doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything,” Trump said. “It doesn’t make sense that I have to wait till I’m 21 to get a handgun but I can get this.”
At the core of Mr. Trump’s suggestion was the revival of a bipartisan bill drafted in 2013 by Senators Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, and Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Despite a concerted push by President Barack Obama and the personal appeals of Sandy Hook parents, the bill fell to a largely Republican filibuster.
Washington lawmakers passed a bump-stock ban on Tuesday. They are said to be considering a measure which will raies the age limit to 21 for purchasing semi-automatic rifles, like the AR-15, and to possibly strengthen background-check requirements for those purchases. Lawmakers are expected to approve Senate Bill 6620, which also includes some school-safety measures, before the Legislature adjourns on March 8. The bill would not prohibit 18- to 20-year-olds from purchasing bolt-action hunting rifles and shotguns. It would also start a grant program to help school districts improve emergency-response systems. And it would give students and others a new way to anonymously report violent threats.
Two of the nation’s leading gun sellers, Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods, took steps on Wednesday to limit their sales of firearms pulling any and all militaristic styled models, and raising the age limit for purchase to twenty-one. Kroger and L.L. Bean said Thursday they will no longer sell guns to anyone under twenty-one, becoming the third and fourth major retailers this week to put restrictions in place that are stronger than federal laws.
Walmart and Dick’s acted after a number of major companies moved last week to dissociate themselves from the N.R.A. Hertz car rental, MetLife insurance and Delta Air Lines, among others, publicly ended their relationships with the organization. Dick’s said it was immediately ending sales of all assault-style rifles in its stores. The retailer also said that it would no longer sell high-capacity magazines and would also require any gun buyer to be at least 21, regardless of local laws. Under federal law, a person must be at least 21 to buy a handgun from a firearms dealer. But 18-year-olds can buy semiautomatic rifles and other firearms. Kroger, the nation’s largest grocery chain, said that since a mass shooting last month at a Florida high school that killed 17 people, it’s become clear that gun retail outlets must go beyond what current U.S. laws requires. L.L. Bean, which says it only sells firearms at its flagship store in Maine and only guns specific to hunting and target shooting, released a statement late Thursday saying the company will no longer sell firearms or ammunition to anyone under 21.
I applaud the President’s efforts, as well as the stand taken by major corporations, and the measures being enacted by WalMart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kroger and L.L. Bean. I am a fierce supporter of the Second Amendment, but I also understand the desire to ensure that only adults are purchasing firearms, and limiting the modifications which turn said firearms into nearly automatic killing machines.