Feinstein to introduce bill raising age to purchase assault weapons after California shooting

Feinstein to introduce bill raising age to purchase assault weapons after California shooting
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThe Hill's Morning Report — US strikes approved against Iran pulled back Democrats want White House hopefuls to cool it on Biden attacks Democrats detail new strategy to pressure McConnell on election security bills MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday said that she will reintroduce legislation to increase the minimum age to buy assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in the wake of a shooting in California.  

"It’s common sense to prevent the sale of deadly assault weapons to individuals who aren’t even allowed to buy a beer. This isn’t a fix-all bill, but it closes a gaping loophole in federal gun safety laws, and I hope the Senate will act on it swiftly," Feinstein said in a statement. 

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Feinstein added that "if you’re too young to purchase a handgun, you shouldn’t be able to buy an assault rifle."

Under current federal law, an individual has to be 21 to buy a handgun but can buy a rifle when they are 18. Several states have passed laws to increase the minimum age for buying a rifle and bring it in line with the minimum age for buying a handgun. Feinstein's bill would effectively require anyone buying a firearm from a dealer to be at least 21 years old.

Gun control legislation faces an uphill, if not impossible, battle in the GOP-controlled Senate. The Democratic House passed gun control legislation earlier this year, but it has stalled in the upper chamber.

Feinstein introduced the legislation last year with former Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeJeff Flake becoming Harvard fellow Democrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment MORE (R-Ariz.), only for the bill to go nowhere.

Feinstein's decision to reintroduce the legislation comes after a shooting over the weekend at Chabad of Poway synagogue in California.

Police in San Diego County said Saturday that they had identified the 19-year-old suspect as John Earnest, a San Diego resident with no prior interactions with law enforcement.

Police added in a separate statement on Sunday that Earnest was charged with one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder.