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3/1/2018 Rep. McLaughlin introduces legislation that would raise gun purchase and possession age to 21
STATE HOUSE — Rep. James N. McLaughlin (D-Dist. 57, Cumberland, Central Falls) has introduced legislation that would prohibit the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition for anyone below the age of 21.

The bill (2018-H 7863) would raise the legal age to purchase or possess a rifle, assault rifle or shotgun from 18 years of age to 21 years of age.

“It seems unconscionable to me that the law bans the purchase of alcohol for anyone under 21 due to the danger involved, but permits the sale of firearms, which is exponentially more dangerous,” said Representative McLaughlin. “Nobody who’s still in high school should have the power to buy a gun.”

Rhode Island already prohibits the sale of pistols and revolvers to anyone under 21, but people 18 or older can purchase rifles and shotguns, including semi-automatic weapons.

“Nobody below the age of 21 has any business buying a semi-automatic weapon,” said Representative McLaughlin. “The event in Parkland, Fla., have shown us that the time has come to do something to curb these tragedies.”

The act would also grandfather lawful current ownership by persons under 21 years of age, and would not apply to full-time members of the state police, full-time members of the state marshal's office, full-time members of city or town police departments, or state marshals or correctional officers or persons while serving on active duty as a member of the United States armed forces or organized reserves or National Guard.

The legislation has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903