San Francisco Marin Medical Society Blog

Gun Violence Prevention Advocacy Stories

The American Academy of Pediatrics is collecting physician stories about the impact of gun violence. Senator Feinstein’s office requested stories that can be used in hearings if the assault weapons legislation she wrote with Jeff Flake to raise the minimum age to purchase assault weapons from 18 to 21 moves forward. Please add your own stories/perspectives and invite colleagues in your practice who may want to share their experiences as well. Remember to de-identify patient information so as to comply with HIPAA. Visit to contribute to the Google form.

Washington– U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) in late February introduced the Age 21 Act, a bipartisan bill to raise the minimum age required to purchase assault weapons and high-capacity magazines from 18 to 21.

Under current federal law, an individual is required to be 21 years-old to purchase a handgun, but only 18 years-old to purchase an assault weapon like the AR-15 and AK-47. The Age 21 Act would create parity in federal firearms law by prohibiting the sale of those assault weapons to individuals under the age of 21. 

“Under current law, licensed gun dealers cannot sell a handgun to anyone under 21, but they are allowed to sell assault rifles like the AR-15 to anyone over 18. This policy is dangerous and makes absolutely no sense,” said Feinstein. “If you can’t buy a beer, you shouldn’t be able to buy a weapon of war. While we need to do much more to reform our gun laws, ensuring teenagers can’t legally buy weapons of war is a commonsense step forward.”

“If the law says someone under the age of 21 is too young to purchase a handgun, than it ought to say they’re too young to purchase an assault weapon,” said Flake. “This bipartisan fix is long overdue, and would’ve made as much sense before the tragedy in Parkland as it does after. I hope we can work together to get this passed and signed into law without delay.”

To view a full-text PDF of the bill, click here.

blog comments powered by Disqus