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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL)

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Release: Rep. Becker-Finn introduces age restrictions for assault weapons

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Today, Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL-Roseville) and Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park) joined their fellow legislators and advocates to announce new, common sense gun violence prevention measures. Their legislation would require anyone purchasing or possessing a semiautomatic military-style assault weapon be over the age of 21; define the definition of assault weapons; and criminalize the transfer of assault weapons to those under the age of 21.

“The safety of all Minnesotans should be our top priority at the Legislature,” said Rep. Becker-Finn. “I know we can’t prevent all gun violence but that does not mean we should sit back and do nothing. Now is the time to finally step up and do something.”

Exceptions to the new age requirements include members of the armed forces, peace officers, those honorably discharged from the armed forces, or those under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian.

“These weapons are specifically designed to kill people, as quickly as possible,” continued Rep. Becker-Finn. “Teenagers who aren’t old enough to legally buy alcohol certainly don’t need easy access to that type of firearm.”

Research demonstrates that 18 to 20-year-olds commit gun homicides at a rate nearly four times higher than adults 21 and older. Current law prohibits sales of pistols to those who are under age 21, but allows 18-year-olds to possess semiautomatic military-style assault weapons. This bill corrects that dangerous inconsistency. 

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