Long shot Democratic candidate for president, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, has had it with gun violence. In fact, he said it was something that “pissed” him off back in June. Now, the governor wants to increase the age for owning and possessing a handgun to 21, which is pretty much the law already (via the Hill):
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said Monday that he favors increasing the minimum age for handgun ownership and possession to 21 as part of a comprehensive plan to curb gun violence in the U.S.
“Week after week, more images of horrific gun violence flash across our TV and computer screens,” his 2016 Democratic presidential campaign said in a statement.
“These tragedies aren’t isolated incidents; they are part of a full-blown — and entirely preventable — epidemic,” it added.
And, of course, the usual expanding of background checks and requiring mandatory gun storage in the 123 million homes that have firearms.
By federal law, gun dealers with a federal firearms license cannot sell a handgun to someone under the age of 21. Additionally, one needs to be 21 to buy ammunition for a handgun. Now, there are instances where one can buy a handgun under the age of 18 through a private sale, say at a gun show. Yes, they’re rehashing the gun show loophole (again).
Yes, private gun sales do happen, but they represent a small percentage of overall firearm purchases. It’s to the point where such sales are in the single digits. In a way, it’s an almost semi-comedic way of trying to form a narrative that America has turned into Mogadishu’s Bakara market during the 1990s. Moreover, given that gun shows are legal, a new study shows that criminals don’t stock up at gun shows, nor do they use FFL dealers to obtain their firearms. They (shocker!) don’t obtain their guns legally, mostly through straw purchases or shady FFL gun dealers. In both instances, the parties involved are breaking the law. In both scenarios, no new laws would really be effective. They’re already looking at serious jail time, with some states carrying 5-10 year sentences for straw purchases.
O’Malley is doing nothing more than serving up some nice red meat to the progressive left on this issue. That’s okay; he’s trying to run for president.
In Virginia, the law is quite clear that you need to be 21 to buy a handgun, and the Nation’s Gun Show in Chantilly, VA–reportedly the largest gun show in the DC area– is crystal clear about what you need to bring to purchase arms at their event: two forms of identification for a background check.
Statues vary by state; some states allow 18-year-olds to use handguns for hunting, but it’s always under the condition that an adult be present. Moreover, it’s illegal for those under the age of 21 to conceal carry a handgun. So, if these kids want to chance it, be stupid, and get caught breaking the law, we shouldn’t rush to their defense. In anti-gun states, this isn’t really an issue either given how stringent their possession, sale, and carry laws are usually written. It's window dressing.
As for the gun epidemic nonsense, firearm-related homicides are down 39 percent. By Pew Research’s figures, it’s nearly 49 percent. This issue isn’t going anywhere, so those of us who are pro-freedom and pro-Second Amendment shouldn’t sweat this one.
I would respect these anti-gun liberals more if they just spoke their minds and advocated what they really want: they hate law-abiding gun-owning Americans, and they want policies that lead to confiscation.
The truth will set you free, and land you electoral disaster in the process. We’re just waiting for some thickheaded progressive to have the courage to put forward that unconstitutional proposal.
Correction: Edits made to section about Virginia's handgun laws. Unlike gun control groups, I also don't include suicides or accidents to inflate the figures. They're tragic instances, but it's not gun violence. We're talking about homicides from firearms, which have decreased and hover around 11-12,000 deaths a year. Also, violent crime is still on a downward trend.