These days, people are claiming that AR-15s are just too deadly for anyone under the age of 21 to have. They are convinced that raising the age limit on purchasing a rifle will have some kind of net effect on crime for some reason, despite only a tiny fraction of crimes being perpetrated with rifles of any kind.
One response to people who argue such a raise is ridiculous is that we already require people to be 21 to purchase handguns and rifles are far more dangerous.
It’s not a completely invalid point…which is where Kentucky’s Thomas Massie stepped in.
U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie has proposed H.R. 5112 which would reduce, from 21 to 18, the minimum age at which someone can obtain a handgun from a licensed gun dealer. The move is the polar opposite of recent proposals backed by gun control advocates, various lawmakers and even for a time President Trump, to raise the age for gun purchases from 18 to 21.
“If you raise the age to buy a long gun from 18 to 21 while keeping the age to buy a handgun at 21, you have completely extinguished the constitutionally guaranteed right of 20-year-old mothers to keep and bear arms,” said Massie on social media. The lawmaker, chair of the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus, made the same argument last Sunday on Meet the Press.
The proposal comes as a counter to a movement backed by governors in several states as well as both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill to raise the minimum age to buy a rifle to 21, sparked by the use of an AR-15 by a 19-year-old man to kill 17 at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
According to 2016 estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, there were more than 13 million Americans aged 18, 19 or 20. Until 1968, the legal age to purchase handguns was 18.
Finally, a gun bill coming out of this current bunch in Washington I can really get behind.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that this bill will go anywhere for the foreseeable future. For one thing, the current political climate simply won’t allow a bill that reduces restrictions on who can purchase a firearm to pass without a lynch mob forming almost immediately. While this bill is the right thing to do, since when has Washington focused on doing what’s right?
RedState contributor Streiff agrees, at least in part.
This bill isn’t going anywhere and is more properly viewed as equal parts theater and response the the incoherent word salad President Trump slung about yesterday.
Why should a 20yr old single mom be denied the right to defend herself and her kids? We should lower the age to buy a handgun to 18, instead of raising the age to buy an AR15. SAD! https://t.co/riLrfXZlbb
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) February 22, 2018
But it is an idea worth considering.
I don’t disagree.
The fact of the matter is that 18-year-olds are defending our freedom all over the world as you read these words. They’re putting their lives on the line in some very hostile place and they’re doing it to the highest standards of professionalism and with honor. Why are we barring them from buying any firearms, much less a handgun?
The thing is, while those who have gone through boot camp may be different than your average 18- or 19-year-old kid, they’re not that different. Not different enough to afford them completely different rights, and I say this as a veteran. As such, limiting the age someone can buy a gun makes no sense whatsoever.
But then again, the people who tend to float this kind of nonsense are people who want to restrict what anyone can buy, so we shouldn’t be surprised.