I don’t know whether to condemn Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) or praise her. She has filed a bill as an amendment to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that would raise the age to purchase many semi-auto rifles, pistols, or shotguns to 21. The impact of this amendment could cause the carefully crafted “compromise” (sic) to fall apart.
From her press release:
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today filed the Age 21 Act as an amendment to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the gun violence prevention bill pending before the Senate. The amendment would raise the minimum age to purchase assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines from 18 to 21.
Senator Feinstein reintroduced the Age 21 Act on May 19, five days after the massacre at a Buffalo supermarket and five days before the school shooting in Uvalde, each of which involved an 18-year-old who legally purchased an assault rifle.
“The Senate gun safety bill is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t address the major problem of teenagers owning weapons of war,” said Senator Feinstein. “It makes no sense that it’s illegal for someone under 21 to buy a handgun or even a beer, yet can legally buy an assault weapon. My amendment is a commonsense fix with broad public support that should receive bipartisan backing and I hope that it’s allowed a vote.”
Reading through the amendment which I have embedded below, something as innocuous as a semi-auto shotgun such as the Mossberg 940 Pro Waterfowl Snow Goose edition would be forbidden to anyone under 21. The reasoning, according to the amendment, is that it has a tubular magazine that holds more than 5 rounds. Likewise, a turkey shotgun that had a pistol grip would be forbidden. On pistols, if you wanted to have a threaded barrel for a suppressor to protect your hearing, sorry but young ears need to be damaged is the message this amendment sends.
I really think these sorts of amendments could cause the whole thing to fall apart and force the Republicans to walk away. It is one thing to say you want to do careful background checks taking into account juvenile records for those under 21 and a whole another thing to ban a whole category of firearms to them. I don’t think a Manchin or Sinema could get by with voting for such a bill that included that along with the other stuff.
I do notice that Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) is not one of the co-sponsors of her original bill nor is Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Here is the text of Feinstein’s Age 21 Act amendment.Feinstein-Age-21-Act