GOP lawmaker calls for age restriction on AR-15s

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) on Thursday called for age restrictions on AR-15 assault rifles.

Roberts told reporters at the Kansas capitol that “nobody under 21” should have an AR-15, the gun that was allegedly purchased legally and used to kill 17 people and injure 14 others in the Florida high school shooting last week.

“This is an opportunity, if you look at these youngsters who are so emotionally tied in to this grief of losing their friends — but it’s more than gun control,” Roberts said, according to The Wichita Eagle.

“But I think we’re ready as a Congress to actually pass something and I think it’s going to be better background checks,” he continued. “Certainly nobody under 21 should have an AR-15.”

{mosads}President Trump tweeted Thursday morning that the minimum age requirement to purchase guns should be raised to 21, breaking with the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) stance. Trump has also said he is considering arming school officials, expanding background checks and banning bump stocks, devices that modify semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly. 

The law currently allows individuals 18 and older to purchase rifles, but only those 21 and older can purchase handguns.

Rep. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in the days following the Florida shooting that she would introduce legislation to raise the purchasing age to 21.

An NRA spokeswoman told the Eagle that raising the age requirement would punish “law-abiding citizens for the evil acts of criminals.”

Roberts has received $1.58 million from the NRA over the course of his political career, according to the Eagle.