Austin Seeks To Raise Legal Age To Purchase AR-15 Style Weapons
Austin, Texas, joined a growing number of cities around the country, seeking to raise the minimum age to purchase an assault-style rifle from 18 to 21.
The City Council voted on Friday to approve a resolution that would result in raising the age requirements.
According to the local Fox News affiliate, the approval was included in the June 16 Austin City Council meeting minutes.
“This was prompted by Uvalde, by Buffalo, both situations where you had 18-year-olds who were legally able to purchase AR-15s and wreak destruction and to murder other people,” city council member Alison Alter told Fox.
The proposed change comes in the wake of several mass shootings, one of which left 21 dead in Uvalde, Texas, just two weeks ago. As a result, many lawmakers are proposing measures to reduce gun violence.
“Any life lost is a life that could have been saved by not having access to any AR-15 period,” Alter said.
Alter expressed her feeling as a parent, saying, “I am the parent of a student who’s in high school, and anything that we can do to restrict access to AR-15 makes my son safer and every other parent’s kids in our community safer.”
A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Washington announced an agreement regarding a historic gun safety package last week.
According to Reuters, the proposed measures include “support for state ‘red flag’ laws keeping firearms from potentially dangerous people, tougher criminal background checks for gun buyers under age 21 and a crackdown on ‘straw purchases’ by people buying weapons for others who could not pass a background check.”
However, the proposed measures in Washington do not include a change in the age to purchase firearms.
Meanwhile, the proposed changes around Texas and the nation are being met with praise. Texas Gun Sense Executive Director Nicole Golden shared her thoughts on the city’s efforts to make the change.
“As our kids were supposed to be celebrating their last week of school, 21 lives were taken in an act of unspeakable gun violence at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas,” said Golden.
“The announcement of the Senate’s move toward action serves as a way to honor the victims of Uvalde and the far too many who came before them. For nearly ten years, we have fought for sensible gun laws in our state, and that work will continue as we urge lawmakers to build upon these advances to enact meaningful change that protects our communities,” she added.
Many Second Amendment advocates around the country oppose such measures, claiming the proposed gun safety legislation could infringe on law-abiding citizens’ right to bear arms.
Austin is not the only place to consider raising the age to purchase AR-15-style rifles. On Tuesday, Rhode Island’s state legislature passed a bill to ban the sale of guns and ammunition to anyone under 21 years old. Last week New Tork Governor, Kathy Hochul, signed a measure raising the legal age to purchase such weapons from 18 to 21 years.
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