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Reps. Brown, Fitzpatrick Introduce Bill To Raise The Assault Rifle Purchasing Age

Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 717, the Raise the Age Act, to bring regulatory parity between handguns and centerfire, semi-automatic rifles. The bill is endorsed by Giffords, Everytown for Gun Safety, and the American College of Physicians.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 717, the Raise the Age Act, to bring regulatory parity between handguns and centerfire, semi-automatic rifles. The bill is endorsed by Giffords, Everytown for Gun Safety, and the American College of Physicians.

“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” said Congressman Brown. “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who cannot legally purchase a handgun can legally purchase a military-style assault weapon -- that’s a dangerous, outdated loophole in America's gun laws.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 work with Congressman Fitzpatrick to introduce this important first step to stem the violence we see across our country.”

“Congress owes our nation’s families and children bipartisan gun safety reform. By raising the age restrictions for military-style semi-automatic weapons, this bipartisan bill provides parity with handgun purchases,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “I’m proud to partner with Congressman Brown on this common-sense measure. While continuing to support Second Amendment rights, this Congress can take meaningful action to protect our children and keep our communities safe.”

Many retailers have already raised the age to purchase weapons and ammunition to 21, and multiple states have passed similar laws to prevent teenagers from being able to purchase semi-automatic weapons. Currently, anywhere from 7-in-10 to 8-in-10 Americans support raising the permissible age for buying a gun, and more than 6-in-10 Americans in gun-owning households support increasing the purchasing age to 21.

“Every American knows too well the horror and heartbreak that can result if a young person can easily and legally access an assault rifle,” said Robin Lloyd, Managing Director at Giffords. “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. I’m grateful to Representative Brown and all of the cosponsoring members for continuing their push to make our country safer.”

“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,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “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.”

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