Capitol Alert

No gun purchases before the age of 21 under California bill

A state senator is pushing a bill to raise the minimum age to legally purchase rifles and shotguns in California to 21.

Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, amended Senate Bill 1100 on Wednesday to prohibit someone from purchasing more than one gun in 30 days and to increase the age limit to buy all firearms to 21.

"As a parent, I've been distressed about what's going on in Florida and very encouraged by the activism by the students," said Portantino, a father of two daughters. "Anybody who has watched the young people has to be moved and shame on folks in Washington who are not moved. If they are not going to do it, we’ll do it."

Current state law sets the age limit to purchase rifles and shotguns at 18 and imposes a higher age restriction of 21 on handgun sales. With some exceptions, in California it's illegal to own an assault weapon, such as the AR-15 Nikolas Cruz used during an attack that left 17 of his Parkland, Florida, classmates dead earlier this month.

Portantino's limit on gun purchases in a one-month period makes exceptions for firearm collectors, law enforcement, correctional facilities, private security companies, film companies or hunters with active licenses issued by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

SB 1100 is among several gun bills introduced by California lawmakers this year. Others would close a loophole in the state's definition of an assault weapon, further restrict the ability of mentally ill residents to own firearms and prohibit people convicted of domestic violence charges from possessing or owning guns, among other new restrictions.

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