Legislation would ban sales of AR-15 style rifles, other semiautomatic weapons to people under 25

Second Amendment

Citing evidence that the “overwhelming majority” of gun violence and mass shootings are committed by shooters under age 25, U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz has introduced federal legislation raising the minimum age to buy semiautomatic firearms.

Under the legislation, someone under age 25 couldn’t buy a range of weapons.

The prohibition would encompass semiautomatic rifles — including “all AK types,” such as the AK47, and “all AR types,” such as the AR-15 — and semiautomatic pistols and shotguns.

AR-15-style rifles have been used in many mass shootings, including by the 19-year-old who committed the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The prohibition wouldn’t have applied to the shooter who used an AR-15-style rifle to kill eight people at a mall in Allen, Texas, on Saturday afternoon. Police said the killer was 33.

“Our communities are plagued by gun violence.  What will it take to protect our children? We can’t continue to needlessly endure heartbreak after heartbreak as our public places become targets of violence,” Moskowitz said in a written statement.

“We no longer need moments of silence; we need moments of action. I refuse to think that nothing can get done,” he added.

Moskowitz’s office cited law enforcement officials, researchers and policy experts who report that “individuals aged roughly 15-25 represent the age at the most risk of becoming a mass shooter because of the intense developmental changes and societal pressures that can turn them violent.”

And his office said in a statement on the legislation that, “Overall, boys and young men account for half of all homicides involving guns, or any other weapon, nationwide. Exactly 50% of all killings in 2020, the last year comprehensive data is available, were committed by assailants under 30.”

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