The California Legislature on Wednesday sent Gov. Jerry Brown a bill that would raise the age limit to purchase all guns from 18 to 21.
If signed, Senate Bill 1100 would tighten gun control in a state with some of the strictest laws in the country. The law specifically bans anyone under age 21 from buying a long gun, or rifle. State law already limits hand guns sales to those 21 and over.
“The two most deadly recent school tragedies have been perpetrated by people under 21 with long guns,” said Sen. Anthony Portantino, who pushed the bill. “We should be sending our children off to school knowing they are going to be safe, healthy and get a good education. ”
Opponents argue that dangerous individuals are often capable of attaining firearms through illegal means, and the Legislature should focus its efforts on ensuring criminals and people suffering from mental health problems cannot acquire guns.
The Senate sent Brown the bill on a 26-12 vote. The Assembly had approved it 47-30, with bipartisan support. The proposal includes exemptions for police officers, members of the military and anyone with an active hunting license from the Department of Fish and Wildfire, among others.
Portantino introduced the bill earlier this year in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and the outcry from students for for stronger gun laws that reverberated all over the country. The Democrat from La Cañada-Flintridge also pushed another measure, which is expected to reach Brown’s desk, to ban the sale of more than one gun in a month.
The proposals are among several gun control measures legislators hope to send Brown this year.