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Flake backs bill to raise age to buy AR-15 style weapons

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake announced Wednesday he's backing a bill to increase the minimum age to buy a semi-automati...

Posted: Feb 22, 2018 9:58 AM
Updated: Feb 22, 2018 9:58 AM

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake announced Wednesday he's backing a bill to increase the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle, lending bipartisan support to legislation that was introduced last week by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the wake of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

"A kid too young buy a handgun should be too young to buy an #AR15," Flake, of Arizona, said in a tweet. "Working with @SenFeinstein on a bipartisan bill that will raise the minimum purchase age for non-military buyers from 18 to 21 - the same age you currently have to be to purchase a handgun."

The idea has emerged as potential compromise among GOP and Democratic lawmakers -- who are sharply divided and therefore gridlocked on gun control issues -- as they search for a response to killings by 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student at the school. Cruz used an AR-15 style weapon, which he purchased legally, to kill 17 people.

They are also considering a bipartisan bill to improve reporting compliance by states and federal agencies to the National Instant Criminal Background System.

"Under current law, licensed gun dealers cannot sell a handgun to anyone under 21, but they are allowed to sell assault rifles like the AR-15 to anyone over 18. This policy is dangerous and makes absolutely not sense," Feinstein of California said when introducing her bill last week. "If you can't buy a handgun or a bottle of beer, you shouldn't be able to buy an AR-15."

Flake announced last fall he would not seek re-election for his Senate seat.

At a White House forum Wednesday on school shootings with parents, teachers and student survivors of recent tragedies, President Donald Trump was urged to consider raising the age at which such weapons could be purchased, something he appeared to embrace.

"In addition to what we're going to do about background checks, we're going to go very strong into age, age of purchase, and we're also going to go very strong into the mental health aspect," Trump said.

But the measure ran into powerful headwinds Wednesday evening, when the National Rifle Association announced it rejects lifting the age for purchasing rifles.

"Federal Law prohibits adults under the age of 21 from purchasing a handgun from a licensed firearm dealer. Legislative proposals that prevent law-abiding adults aged 18-20 years old from acquiring rifles and shotguns effectively prohibits them for purchasing any firearm, thus depriving them of their constitutional right to self-protection," said Jennifer Baker, the NRA public affairs director.

Baker added: "We need serious proposals to prevent violent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from acquiring firearms. Passing a law that makes it illegal for a 20-year-old to purchase a shotgun for hunting or an adult single mother from purchasing the most effective self-defense rifle on the market punishes law-abiding citizens for the evil acts of criminals."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 308737

Reported Deaths: 7139
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20931250
Hinds19961410
Harrison17562303
Rankin13369277
Jackson13156243
Madison9950212
Lee9890170
Jones8310161
Forrest7542148
Lauderdale7221237
Lowndes6289144
Lamar613384
Lafayette6072117
Washington5291133
Bolivar4776129
Oktibbeha457197
Panola4458103
Pearl River4437141
Warren4299119
Marshall4286102
Pontotoc417572
Monroe4062132
Union404675
Neshoba4005176
Lincoln3886109
Hancock373385
Leflore3471124
Sunflower331589
Tate325384
Pike3215105
Scott311472
Yazoo305069
Alcorn299465
Itawamba297877
Copiah293965
Coahoma290479
Simpson289586
Tippah285168
Prentiss276659
Marion266279
Leake261773
Wayne261541
Grenada256484
Covington255280
Adams246982
Newton245761
George238547
Winston226081
Tishomingo222567
Jasper220048
Attala213673
Chickasaw205457
Holmes187172
Clay183254
Stone179733
Clarke177776
Tallahatchie176140
Calhoun165431
Yalobusha160136
Smith159334
Walthall131043
Greene129633
Lawrence126623
Noxubee126534
Montgomery125742
Perry125238
Carroll120926
Amite120741
Webster113832
Jefferson Davis105532
Tunica103225
Claiborne101330
Benton97525
Kemper95628
Humphreys94632
Franklin82923
Quitman78916
Choctaw73917
Wilkinson65128
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49817
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 521623

Reported Deaths: 10739
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754061493
Mobile39067799
Madison34040496
Tuscaloosa25367444
Montgomery24019567
Shelby23186239
Baldwin20701302
Lee15589165
Calhoun14342311
Morgan14158271
Etowah13685346
Marshall11995220
Houston10404278
Elmore10011200
Limestone9852147
Cullman9503189
St. Clair9463234
Lauderdale9265228
DeKalb8757181
Talladega8115171
Walker7139275
Jackson6756110
Autauga6750103
Blount6519134
Colbert6229130
Coffee5424113
Dale4772111
Russell430038
Franklin420782
Chilton4101109
Covington4061114
Tallapoosa3907146
Escambia390174
Dallas3525149
Chambers3514122
Clarke347060
Marion3072100
Pike306176
Lawrence295995
Winston273172
Bibb256059
Marengo248361
Geneva246075
Pickens233259
Barbour226455
Hale218575
Butler212967
Fayette209460
Henry188044
Cherokee182644
Randolph177241
Monroe172540
Washington165238
Macon155648
Clay150155
Crenshaw149457
Cleburne146741
Lamar139734
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124427
Bullock121640
Conecuh109428
Perry107626
Sumter103232
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
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Columbus
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Some spotty showers will move through our area this morning but should clear out by the afternoon. We should see some breaks in the clouds and temperatures reaching the mid to upper 60s.
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