Texas city Austin plans law that will raise minimum purchase age for AR-15 type riles from 18 to 21


Texas capital city Austin plans law that will raise minimum purchase age for AR-15 type riles from 18 to 21 in wake of Uvalde massacre

  • Austin City Council approved resolution that would ‘explore every option’ to let city ‘prohibit or reduce’ sale of semi-automatic weapons to those below age of 21
  • The move would raise the minimum age to buy the weapons from 18 to 21
  • Resolution comes weeks after Uvalde school shooting where 19 people died

Lawmakers in the Texas capital Austin are planning to introduce a law that will raise the minimum age to buy an AR-15 type rifle or other semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21 in wake of the Uvalde school massacre.

The Austin City Council voted to approve a resolution that would direct Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk to ‘explore every option’ to let the city ‘prohibit or reduce’ the sale of the semi-automatic weapons to anyone below the age of 21.

The resolution, which was passed with a 10-1 vote, comes just weeks after the Uvalde school shooting, which saw 17 children and two teachers murdered by an 18-year-old who had legally purchased two AR-15 rifles in the week before the massacre.

The resolution, which was passed with a 10-1 vote, comes just weeks after the Uvalde school shooting, which saw 17 children and two teachers murdered by an 18-year-old who had legally purchased two AR-15 rifles in the week before the massacre. Pictured: Children run to safery after escaping from a window during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde

The resolution, which was passed with a 10-1 vote, comes just weeks after the Uvalde school shooting, which saw 17 children and two teachers murdered by an 18-year-old who had legally purchased two AR-15 rifles in the week before the massacre. Pictured: Children run to safery after escaping from a window during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde

Council member Alison Alter

Council member Alison Alter

Alison Alter, the council member for District 10 in Austin told Fox 7 Austin that the resolution was prompted by the recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York where a total of 31 people were killed.

‘This was prompted by Uvalde, by Buffalo, both situations where you had 18-year-olds who were legally able to purchase AR-15s and wreak destruction and to murder other people,’ Alter said. 

She added: ‘Any life lost is a life that could have been saved by not having access to any AR-15 period. 

‘I am the parent of a student who’s in high school and anything that we can do to restrict access to AR-15 makes my son safer and every other parents’ kids in our community safer.’

MacKenzie Kelly, the only council member opposed to the resolution, was concerned about potential legal action from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, and local businesses because raising the age for purchasing a gun could violate state law. 

A Texas statute prohibits local governments from setting their own restrictive gun measures.

‘I believe that any attempt by Austin to restrict, regulate, or hamper the sales of firearms does violate state preemption laws. And that violation of the preemption law risks a lawsuit from the attorney general, which I think is a needless waste of taxpayer resources,’ Kelly said.

Kelly added that Austin residents could still travel to elsewhere in Texas to buy a weapon under the resolution. 

Three variations of the AR-15 assault rifle are displayed at the California Department of Justice in Sacramento, California.

Three variations of the AR-15 assault rifle are displayed at the California Department of Justice in Sacramento, California. 

Senator John Cornyn of Texas is meanwhile negotiating the bipartisan gun control bill with Democrats following the Uvalde and Buffalo mass shootings.

A group of Democratic and Republican senators last weekend announced the elements of a compromise acceptable to both sides, minus the assault-weapons ban. The lawmakers have spent last week working to finalize a bill that can be voted on by a self-imposed early July deadline.

The framework includes access to the juvenile records of gun buyers age 18 to 20. Both shooters in Buffalo and Uvalde were 18, and both used AR-15 style rifles, which can load high-capacity magazines.

The plan also includes added spending for mental health and school safety programs, tougher penalties for gun trafficking and requirements that slightly more gun dealers obtain federal firearms licenses.

Some of the worst school shootings since Columbine 

Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas

May 24, 2022: An 18-year-old opened fire inside the school, killing 19 children and two teachers

Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan

November 30, 2021: A 15-year-old boy opened fire inside school, killing four teenagers and injuring six students and a teacher

Saugus High School in Saugus, California

November 14, 2019: A 16-year-old boy shot dead a 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl and injured three other teenagers

Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe, Texas

May 18, 2019: A 17-year-old boy with his father’s shotgun and pistol opened fire inside an art classroom, killing nine students and a teacher and wounding 13 others

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida

February 14, 2018: A 19-year-old man opened fire and killed 17 people and injured 17 more during a shooting massacre

Marshall County High School, Benton, Kentucky

January 23, 2018: A 15-year-old boy with a handgun opened fire in the school, killing two 15-year-old students and injuring 14 more people

Aztec High School, Aztec, New Mexico

December 7, 2017: A 21-year-old man with a Glock 9mm semiautomatic handgun killed two students and opened fire on other students before committing suicide

North Park Elementary School, San Bernardino, California

April 10, 2017: A 53-year-old man opened fire in a classroom of his estranged wife, killing her and a student whilst also injuring another child

Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut

December 14, 2012: A 20-year-old man with a Bushmaster XM15-E2S semiautomatic rifle went on a gun rampage in the school, killing 20 children and six staff members and injuring two people

Santana High School, Santee, California

March 5, 2001: A 15-year-old boy went on a gun rampage, killing two people and wounding 13

Columbine High School, Littleton, Colombia

April 20, 1999: Two boys fired at fellow students and staff in the school, killing 13 people and injuring 21  

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