NY lawmakers pass legislation package raising age bar for semi-automatic rifle

New York lawmakers have passed a legislation package to increase the minimum age for buying and possessing a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21, in an effort to strengthen gun laws in the state.

Thursday night’s passage of the package, which includes 10 bills, comes after it was introduced by Governor Kathy Hochul and leaders of the state legislature on Tuesday.

“This comprehensive package will close loopholes, give law enforcement the tools they need to prevent easy access to guns, and stop the sale of dangerous weapons to 18-year-olds,” Hochul in a statement.

The Governor is expected to sign these bills into law soon.

The new legislation has been met with opposition from many Republicans, who argue that the gun limitations would “inconvenience law-abiding firearms owners and could be easily circumvented by people determined to get weapons”.

Republican state senator Alexis Weik said that an 18-year-old could still travel to another state to buy a semi-automatic rifle, and was replied by senator Kevin Thomas, a Democrat, as saying that “are you advocating for federal gun control? Because that what’s needed”.

New York state has relatively strict gun controls with the minimum age to possess a handgun already set at 21 years old.

Meanwhile, New York City requires permits to possess, carry and purchase any type of firearm and prohibits most applicants under 21 years old.

Still, gun violence continues to plague the state.

In April, a gunman shoot 10 people in the subway system of New York City, while last month, an 18-year-old shot dead 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo.




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