Mercury News– Amid heightened attention to gun access since the high school shooting massacre in Florida, three California lawmakers Thursday announced a bill that would raise the age limit for purchasing rifles and shotguns from 18 to 21, the same as for handguns.
“California already wisely mandates that someone be at least 21 years of age to purchase a handgun,” said the bill’s author, Assemblyman Rob Bonta D-Oakland. “It’s time to extend that common-sense law to long guns in order to enhance public safety.”
The move comes after a troubled 19-year-old ex-student killed 17 former classmates and teachers in Parkland on Feb. 14 with a military-style rifle he was able to buy legally in that state.
Since then, Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., introduced a bill that would raise the minimum age for buying military-style assault rifles across the country to 21. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Rep. John Faso, R-N.Y., voiced support for the idea. So did the governor of Florida and even President Donald Trump. Major retailers including Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart announced they no longer will sell firearms to buyers under age 21.
But critics called the proposed California law an unconstitutional breach of Second Amendment gun rights and said it would do nothing to quell gun violence.
“This is an example of legislation that’s all show and no go,” said Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California. “It doesn’t prevent anything but law abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional rights.”