- The Washington Times - Friday, February 16, 2018

Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Friday she’ll write legislation to impose a 21-year-old age requirement to buy a rifle, after police say a man used an AR-15 in a killing spree at a Florida high school this week.

Ms. Feinstein said federal law already restricts handgun sales by licensed dealers to those 21 years of age and older, and said it’s time to create the same standard for all firearms.

“If you can’t buy a handgun or a bottle of beer, you shouldn’t be able to buy an AR-15,” she said. “This is common sense and I hope my Republican colleagues will join me in this effort.”

Rep. Anthony G. Brown, Maryland Democrat, is also working on similar legislation in the House.

In a letter to colleagues Mr. Brown said it was time for parity, and called for the higher age to be adopted.



Authorities say Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old man who has reportedly admitted to the shooting that killed 17 and left 14 others wounded, bought his rifle legally.

While the age for handgun purchases from licensed dealers is 21, those who aren’t firearms dealers can sell or give a handgun to anyone 18 and older. For rifles, there is no federal age restriction on who can be sold or given a gun by non-dealers, while licensed dealers must abide by an 18-year-old requirement.

Some state laws go beyond the federal requirements, with some even prohibiting possession — much less purchase — of a firearm by anyone under 21, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Sales of so-called military-style semiautomatic rifles — generally those outfitted with tactical performance add-ons — were banned under a Clinton-era law, but that lapsed in 2004.

Mr. Brown said the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has called those sorts of “assault weapons” the equivalent of “weapons of war” which can be restricted under the Constitution.

“These weapons of war are clearly not for hunting, recreation, or personal defense and should not be easily purchased by any person under the age of 21,” he said in his letter to colleagues.

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