By AFRO Staff

Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) wants to increase the age to purchase a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21-years-old. Brown is calling on House Democrats’ to include his legislation in the upcoming “Protecting Our Kids” package to tackle the epidemic of gun violence.

“I’m heartened to see the House of Representatives act with urgency to bring new measures that could prevent more senseless losses,” said Brown, speaking on the mass shootings in both Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, N.Y. “These two events took the lives of more than 30 individuals – children, grandmothers, teachers, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. Each individual had a family, a story, and a future to look forward to, all tragically taken from them in senseless acts of violence. We can’t become numb to this pain or look away from the ongoing tragedy that is 30 lives lost to gun violence each and every day in our country. We need to act.

Brown said that he is “heartened to see the House of Representatives act with urgency to bring new measures that could prevent more senseless losses. As a veteran, I’ve seen the carnage these weapons of war can inflict. They do not belong on our streets or in our public places, let alone in the hands of civilian 18-year-olds. These are common-sense actions, supported by the vast majority of Americans. Raising the age to buy these weapons, new red flag laws, universal background checks and other measures are steps we can take right now, that can save lives.” 

Brown’s Raise the Age Act has garnered support from both sides of the legislative aisle and he has gained endorsements by Everytown for Gun Safety and VoteVets. 

Currently, you must  be at least 21 years of age to purchase any type of handgun from a gun dealer with a federal license, but only 18 to purchase semi-automatic rifles—the same weapons the 18-year-old shooter in Uvalde purchased soon after his 18th birthday. The semi-automatic weapons he purchased were found at the scene of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School the same month. The 18-year old Uvalde shooter fired the same weapon that was used by the 18-year-old shooter at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y. during a terror attack on the Black community.

Brown’s Raise the Age Act would “create parity between the two policies by raising the age to purchase a semiautomatic centerfire rifle that has or can accept a magazine of five rounds or more,” according to a statement released by his office. “Gun consumers would also need to providing an exemption for active-duty military and full-time law enforcement officers.” 

The Raise the Age Act also calls for the FBI to improve the Public Access Line (PAL) Tip Line.

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