Reps. Anthony Brown (D-MD) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) on Wednesday introduced H.R. 717, the Raise the Age Act, which would change the age federal firearm licensees can sell or transfer centerfire rifles. If passed, the bill would raise the age people can legally obtain a rifle from 18 to 21. The only exception would be made for those who are a active duty members of the military and those whose full-time jobs involve carrying a service weapon, like members of law enforcement.
“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,” Brown said in a statement. “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who cannot legally purchase a handgun can legally purchase a military-style assault weapon -- that’s a dangerous, outdated loophole in America's gun laws.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,” Fitzpatrick added. “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.”
Giffords, Everytown for Gun Safety and the American College of Physicians endorsed the bill.
“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.”
This is another one of those bills where I scratch my head and try to understand what the authors were thinking or the logic they were trying to apply, but so far, I've come up with nothing.
Why are they going specifically after centerfire rifles? Do these anti-gunners believe they're more lethal than rimfire? Are they trying to make it seem as though they understand how firearms function?
Giffords' Managing Director proved she doesn't know the difference between an "assault" rifle and a semi-automatic rifle. So, here we go again:
Semi-auto: one round fired for one trigger pull
Full auto: one trigger pull leads to an infinite amount of rounds fired (until you stop or you run out of ammo)
Assault weapon: usually a semi-auto that gets banned based on cosmetic features (type of grip, stock, etc.). You can literally have a so-called "assault weapon," change out the mag release and then it's legal. The gun still functions the same but it looks different.
The legislation says they're specifically targeting semi-automatics, but then gun control groups throw in the term "assault weapon" to make everything seem ten times scarier. It's ridiculous. And it's what anti-gunners due to push their agenda without understanding how guns truly function.
And the fact that this bill was introduced while the industry gathered at SHOT Show wasn't an accident. It was done by design to get a bill past 2A advocates.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article had Rep. Brian Fitzgerald listed as a Democrat. He is actually a Republican.