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house Bill H.R. 717

Raising the Age Limit to Buy Semi-Automatic Rifles From 18 to 21

Argument in favor

No teenager should be able to buy an assault rifle. Handgun purchases are banned until an individual reaches 21 years old, and that should be true for semi-automatic rifles as well. This will reduce gun violence.

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07/02/2019
How about we ban the sale of military style weapons to civilians.
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Anders's Opinion
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07/02/2019
Or better yet, actual gun laws and restrictions like all other civilized countries
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07/02/2019
Actually I’d prefer to see them banned or a minimum age of 25 but this is one step.
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Argument opposed

The age when the law recognizes a person as an adult who can vote or serve in the military is 18. Adults should be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights and buy a semi-automatic rifle for their self defense.

David's Opinion
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07/02/2019
Shall not be infringed. Edit: Some people are saying they’re military style, excuse me what? You take a semi-auto into battle as your weapon of choice and you don’t stand a chance.
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Brian's Opinion
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07/02/2019
100% oppose. Clubs hammers and feet all are used more than rifles per year to kill others’ so how does age or guns have anything to do with this?
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Garland's Opinion
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07/02/2019
Limiting the rights for the lawful won’t prevent or reduct crime. 18 to 20 year olds do not present a larger threat so why do we need this restriction?
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedJanuary 23rd, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 717?

This bill — the Raise the Age Act — would raise the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle that has or accepts a magazine with a capacity of more than five rounds from 18 to 21 years of age. This would apply to rifles which use centerfire ammunition (which means that the bullet’s primer is located in the center of the cartridge), so rimfire semi-automatic rifles wouldn’t be affected. Active duty members of the military and full-time law enforcement officers who are authorized to carry firearms in the course of their official duties would be exempt from this ban.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation would be required to provide a report to congressional judiciary committees on the protocols and procedures for information sharing between its public access line and field offices. The report would include recommendations for improving the protocols and procedures to improve information sharing.

Impact

People between age 18 and 21 who would want to buy a semi-automatic assault rifle; law enforcement; and the FBI.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 717

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to raise the age limit for buying a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 years of age:

“We have not done enough to tackle the epidemic of gun violence Americans experience on our streets, in our movie theatres, and at our schools. There is bipartisan support in Congress for common-sense laws that deter would-be perpetrators of gun violence from doing harm to our communities. Currently, an 18-year-old who cannot legally purchase a handgun can legally purchase a military-style assault weapon -- that’s a dangerous, outdated loophole in America's gun laws. I am proud to... introduce this important first step to stem the violence we see across our country.”

Last Congress, original cosponsor Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) added:

“As we pray as a nation for all the victims and families devastated by the Parkland school shooting, we must not allow yet another tragedy to go unanswered. It is incumbent upon all of us to identify the root causes of this senseless violence and move to address it immediately. All options must be on the table, including comprehensive background checks, a bump stock ban, prohibiting the sale of military assault weapons and full funding for gun violence research in a comprehensive manner that could have prevented tragedies like this. This Congress can, and must, take meaningful action to put aside partisanship and work toward solutions.”

Rep. Fitzpatrick argues that it's possible to uphold the Second Amendment while also making communities safer by passing this bill:

"By raising the age restrictions for military-style semiautomatic weapons, this bipartisan bill provides parity with handgun purchases. While continuing to support Second Amendment rights, this Congress can take meaningful action to protect our children and keep our communities safe.” 

Everytown for Gun Safety supports this bill. Its president, John Feinblatt, says:

“Young people between the ages of 18 and 20 are far more likely than older adults to commit a gun homicide, so it’s just common sense to restrict people in this age group from buying assault weapons. We applaud Representative Brown and the bill’s bipartisan co-sponsors for taking action on behalf of the growing majority of Americans who want lawmakers to make gun safety a top priority.”

Giffords — an organization founded by former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) who was shot in Tucson, Arizona in 2011 and NASA astronaut and Navy Captain Mark Kelly to tackle America's gun violence crisis — also supports this bill. Giffords' managing director, Robin Lloyd, says:

“Every American knows too well the horror and heartbreak that can result if a young person can easily and legally access an assault rifle. There is absolutely no reason these deadly weapons should be easier to buy than a handgun. For months, we’ve heard elected officials in states, in Congress, and in the White House agree with voters that our laws must be updated to better protect our children and our communities, yet federal law remains unchanged."

In March 2018, President Trump told a group of lawmakers, live on cable TV, that he'd support raising the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic weapons to 21. At that time, Trump said, It doesn’t make sense that I have to wait until I’m 21 to get a handgun, but I can get this weapon at 18." However, Trump reversed his position within weeks, after a high-profile meeting with the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The NRA has historically opposed efforts to raise the minimum age for buying semi-automatic weapons — including opposing this bill in the previous Congress.

This bill has the support of 57 bipartisan cosponsors, including 54 Democrats and three Republicans, in the current session of Congress. Last Congress, it had 33 bipartisan cosponsors, including 30 Democrats and three Republicans, and didn't receive a committee vote. In addition to the organizations quoted above, it also has the support of the American College of Physicians (ACP).


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: DBTN / iStock)

AKA

Raise the Age Act

Official Title

To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit a Federal firearms licensee from selling or delivering certain semiautomatic centerfire rifles to a person under 21 years of age, with exceptions for active duty military personnel and full-time law enforcement officers, and for other purposes.

    How about we ban the sale of military style weapons to civilians.
    Like (214)
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    Shall not be infringed. Edit: Some people are saying they’re military style, excuse me what? You take a semi-auto into battle as your weapon of choice and you don’t stand a chance.
    Like (84)
    Follow
    Share
    Or better yet, actual gun laws and restrictions like all other civilized countries
    Like (113)
    Follow
    Share
    Actually I’d prefer to see them banned or a minimum age of 25 but this is one step.
    Like (98)
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    Currently we have woefully misinterpreted the 2nd Amendment, we need to bring it back in line with the Founders intent.
    Like (69)
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    100% oppose. Clubs hammers and feet all are used more than rifles per year to kill others’ so how does age or guns have anything to do with this?
    Like (54)
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    There is no excuse to put weapons of war into adolescent hands. Their brains aren't even finished growing. They have poor impulse control. Stop letting the NRA gun manufacturing lobby control our policy.
    Like (51)
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    Limiting the rights for the lawful won’t prevent or reduct crime. 18 to 20 year olds do not present a larger threat so why do we need this restriction?
    Like (47)
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    No. If you can serve, you can shoot.
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    If we really care about gun violence, especially in schools, then it seems that we should raise the minimum age for ALL firearms until at least 21. You can't rent a car until you're 25, so maybe that would be a better age to indicate maturity. I mean, really, what young person really needs a semi-automatic rifle other than a soldier on the battlefield?
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    That lawmakers wish to limit the second amendment is the EXACT reason it was written. It’s disgusting that partisan politics have overridden the constitution.
    Like (28)
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    NOT INFRINGED
    Like (25)
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    Age is not the issue. Guns are not the issue. Mental health, video games, poor parenting which government encourages, welfare, poor schools are ALL to blame! Stop treating symptoms, and to a cure.
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    I’m not a huge fan of semiautomatic weapons in anyone other than military personnel and other trained professionals hand but if a person can die and fight for their country with a semiautomatic weapon they should be able to do everything else under the law including drink and buy tobacco. The lines between 18 and 21 needs to be removed!
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    This would not stop criminals from committing crimes. This just removes freedom from law abiding citizens. If they can join the military and use guns they should be able to buy their own guns. Read your Second Amendment again, and again, and again...
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    No; if 18 year olds can fight (with a firearm) in the military, smoke, chew, drive a car (which kills more people on average than firearms); they should be able to buy any semi-automatic rifle/shotgun/pistol. It’s our right! Stop infringing on our right.
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    If they want to do this ......they also must rise the legal age to join the military to21 .......and the senate and congress need to read the second amendment again along with the Constitution
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    Raise the Draft age to twenty one. This Proposal is by ignorant city people. Leave this type of law to the individual states. Stop “Shot Gunning” the entire population of America. If you have mentally ill people in your state, take care of them. Leave the rest of us alone. I would like to add these are not military weapons, only look a likes and are not automatic firing. They are semi-automatic. You have to pull the trigger for each round. So many people just do not know the difference and should leave these decisions up to qualified people.
    Like (18)
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    This is why we need these weapons, to defend ourselves from the tyrants who are trying to disarm us. Liberals say they are not coming for our guns, obviously they are lying.
    Like (18)
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    Stupid law. But let’s lower the voting age so these kids that aren’t responsible enough to shoot a gun can change the coarse of our countries future. Liberalism doesn’t make sense to me. Bunch of hypocrites and disingenuous people
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