Do You Support Banning Anyone Under 21 From Buying an Assault Rifle?
Should the U.S. raise the minimum age for buying assault rifles?
by Countable | 1.2.19
What’s the story?
- Washington state on Tuesday banned anyone under 21 from buying semi-automatic rifles after 59 percent of voters passed an initiative in November that placed new restrictions on the purchase and ownership of firearms.
- Gun-rights advocates have sued to block the restrictions.
What was the initiative?
- Initiative 1639 raises the minimum age for buying pistols and semi-automatic assault rifles to 21 and imposes background checks and a 10-day minimum waiting period for semi-automatic assault rifles’ purchase. People aged 18-21 are still able to possess pistols or semi-automatic assault rifles in private spaces, fixed places of business.
- Semi-automatic assault rifle purchasers will need to provide proof that they’ve completed a recognized firearm safety training program in the last five years with instruction on basic firearm safety, secure gun storage, the safety of children and firearms, suicide prevention, and safe handling.
- Firearms dealers must be notified in writing by the chief of police or sheriff in the purchaser’s jurisdiction that the owner is eligible to own a firearm, and that the application to purchase is approved. The chief of police or sheriff are required to use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and other databases to determine whether the purchaser is eligible to possess a firearm.
What are both sides saying?
- Kristen Ellingboe, a spokeswoman for the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, told NBC news that the initiative specifically targeted the weapons used in mass shootings across the country.
- "We've seen that assault rifles are the weapon of choice for mass shootings, and when they're used, more people are killed and injured," Ellingboe said. She added:
"We've see time and again that Washington voters want action to prevent gun violence in our state. They showed that again by supporting 1639 by a wide margin."
- Opponents are arguing in court that the measure violates the Second and 14th amendments of the Constitution, as well as gun sellers' rights under the Commerce Clause.
"Starting today, young adults between the ages of 18 to 20 will have their rights to purchase semi-automatic rifles stripped away," said Dave Workman, a spokesman for the Bellevue, Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation.
What do you think?
In most states, you must be 18 to buy an assault rifle. Hawaii, Illinois, Vermont, New York, and now Washington prohibit anyone under 21 from buying semi-automatic rifles. Do you want your state to join in? Should this be a federal law? Take action above, then share your thoughts below.
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