In the wake of mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, perpetrated by 18-year-old shooters with rifles, there have been rumblings among the gun control crowd of raising the federal minimum age to buy a rifle or shotgun to 21, as had been done previously with handguns.
The White House confirmed Thursday that President Joe Biden is open to the idea of increasing the minimum age for long gun purchases, Breitbart reported.
It remains unclear, though, if Biden would attempt to do so unilaterally with executive action or if he would feel compelled to wait for Congress to do so legislatively.
“Doesn’t make sense”
During Thursday’s press briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked by a reporter if President Biden would “support raising the age at which someone can buy a gun to 21?”
Jean-Pierre replied, “So the President was very clear about this just recently when he said that the — that — in his remarks, just on Tuesday, that it doesn’t make sense for an 18-year-old to legally buy an assault weapon.”
“And so, he made very clear on Tuesday when he — after he landed from Asia and had to deal with such a devastating news that happened in Texas,” the press secretary added.
Biden questions 18-year-olds with rifles
As Jean-Pierre had referenced, President Biden did indeed raise the issue of 18-year-olds purchasing and possessing rifles in recent remarks this week following the shooting at a school in Uvalde and, about a week earlier, a grocery store in Buffalo.
During a speech Tuesday night after the school shooting in Texas in which he railed against guns and demanded anti-gun action, Biden said, “The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong.”
He returned to and slightly expanded on that theme Wednesday during his remarks while signing an executive order on police reform measures.
“The idea that an 18-year-old can walk into a store and buy weapons of war, designed and marketed to kill, is, I think, just wrong. It just violates common sense,” the president said.
Bill already introduced in Senate
Coincidentally enough, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) announced on May 19, in the wake of the Buffalo shooting, that she and other Democrats had introduced the Age 21 Act, which would raise the federal minimum age to purchase all firearms and “high-capacity magazines” from 18 to 21.
Yet, while anything is possible, it seems rather unlikely that this bill would garner support from enough Senate Republicans to clear the 60-vote threshold to pass in that chamber — much less if denying all Second Amendment-protected rights to 18-20-year-olds would withstand constitutional scrutiny.