Extend Age to Purchase a Handgun to Rifles and Shotguns

An 18-year old in California can’t buy a beer (must be 21 years of age) but can buy a rifle or a shotgun.

An 18-year old also can’t buy a handgun (must be 21 years of age) in California but can buy a rifle or a shotgun.

CA legislators introduced a bill, AB 3, to address these inconsistences. AB 3  will extend the age requirement for purchasing rifles and shotgun also to 21-years of age.

The bill was introduced 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.

Some of the nation’s worst mass shootings, including Parkland and the 2012 slaughter of 20 pupils and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., were by youths under age 21.

Young adults ages 18 to 20 are statistically more likely to commit homicides, representing 4 percent of the population but commiting 17 percent of gun homicides, according to the 2015 FBI Supplementary Homicides Reports.

As one lawmaker noted, “Californians under age 21 can’t purchase alcohol, tobacco and other health hazardous items,” Skinner argued. “So why should they be able to buy guns?”

“Modern rifles pose a greater threat than handguns and a similar age restriction should apply,” said Amanda Wilcox, Legislation and Policy Chair for the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and sponsor of AB 3. “Raising the minimum age to purchase a long gun is a reasonable step to improve public safety.”

Speak up for AB 3

It takes just seconds now on the Click My Cause Two-Tap App. Sign up for mobile alerts from the Palo Alto PTA Council. Every time AB 3 is up for vote, the Palo Alto PTA Council will send you a mobile alert. Then, voila!

  • Tap 1: open alert
  • Tap 2: message the CA legislature
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Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence