NC lawmaker drafting bill to raise age requirement to buy rifle

Rifles on display at a gun store (Photo: Ashley Buttle / CC BY 2.0)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WSOC) — A lawmaker from Charlotte said he no longer wants teenagers to be able to walk into a gun shop and be able to purchase a rifle.

Rep. Rodney Moore told Channel 9 he is drafting a bill that would require the purchaser of a rifle to be at least 21 years old. Currently, in North Carolina, a person only has to be 18 years old to buy a rifle.

The purchase age for a handgun is already 21.

Nikolaus Cruz, the teen who confessed to carrying out the Valentine’s Day shooting that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, is 19 years old, and the rifle he used in the attack was purchased legally, officers said.

The owner of Hyatt Coin and Gun told Channel 9 that such a law might provide some protection from mass shootings at schools, but said that the more pressing need is for information about a person’s mental and criminal history to be entered into systems that would keep them from being approved for a gun purchase, no matter how old they are.

White House supports better background checks

The White House says President Donald Trump supports efforts to improve the federal gun background check system after a school shooting in Florida that killed 17 people.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that the president had spoken to Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, about a bipartisan bill designed to strengthen the FBI database of prohibited gun buyers.

Sanders said, “While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system.”

The bill would penalize federal agencies that fail to provide the necessary records and reward states that comply with federal grant preferences and other incentives.

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