A Republican lawmaker from Kentucky introduced a bill this week that would lower the minimum age to purchase a handgun from 21 to 18.
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., made the announcement on his social media accounts Thursday, using the example of a 20-year-old single mother and asking why she should not be able to own a handgun to keep her family safe.
"Why should a 20-year-old single mom be denied the right to defend herself and her children? 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds are considered adults and are able to vote on important public policy issues," Massie wrote on Facebook. "They can also form business contracts, get married, and serve in the military. As adults, these Americans should not be deprived of basic constitutional rights."
The gun control debate has heated up in the two weeks since a gunman walked into a Florida high school and killed 14 children and three adults. Many have called for the minimum age to purchase a rifle to be raised from 18 to 21.
Massie called that discussion "unconstitutional."
"District of Columbia v. Heller established that gun control measures cannot be so draconian as to completely extinguish the right to keep and bear arms, yet that's what happens when all gun purchases are prohibited for a certain class of adults based on age," he wrote.
President Donald Trump is working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to craft gun control legislation that all parties hope will stem the flow of gun violence in America. Fixing holes in the background check system and making checks mandatory for all gun purchases, banning bump stocks, and raising the age to buy long guns are among the options being discussed.
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