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California bill would raise age for long-gun purchases to 21

March 1, 2018

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California senator on Wednesday proposed raising the age for buying rifles and shotguns from 18 to 21, a hotly debated topic across the nation in the wake of a Florida high school shooting that killed 17 people.

Democratic Sen. Anthony Portantino’s bill would also bar people from buying more than one firearm within a 30-day window.

Those restrictions are already in place for handgun purchases in California, and the bill would extend it to all long guns.

“As a father of a high school sophomore I can’t stop thinking about the unnecessary nightmare that this tragedy caused for the affected families,” Portantino, of La Canada Flintridge, said in a statement. “I feel it is imperative that California leads when Washington refuses to act.”

Increasing the age for purchasing guns has been a topic of debate in Washington and legislatures nationwide following the Florida shooting.

President Donald Trump has expressed support for raising it to 21 for some firearm purchases, a commitment he reaffirmed Wednesday in a televised conversation with lawmakers about gun policy.

Sam Paredes, executive director of the Gun Owners of California, opposed such changes, saying they won’t make Californians safer.

Instead, he argued it would infringe on the rights of Californians who use long guns for hunting.

Meanwhile, Walmart announced it would no longer sell ammunition and firearms to people under 21.

The move came after Dick’s Sporting Goods announced earlier in the day that it would restrict the sale of firearms to those under 21. It didn’t mention ammunition.

Dick’s also said it would immediately stop selling assault-style rifles.

Portantino’s bill will now go through the legislative committee process, which includes public hearings.

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