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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 10, 2020 11:12 AM
From: Representative Melissa L. Shusterman
To: All House members
Subject: Raising the Age to Purchase a Semi-Automatic Assault Rifle to 21
Despite a lengthy history of violence, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz was able to legally purchase a semi-automatic assault rifle, similar to the firearms that have been used in nearly every major mass shooting in recent years. Then, on February 14, 2018, he used that semi-automatic assault rifle to brutally end 17 innocent lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  Nikolas Cruz was not old enough to purchase alcohol thanks to state laws keeping alcohol out of the hands of those still developing physically, emotionally and intellectually and potentially not thinking about long-term consequences yet was able to legally purchase a semi-automatic assault rifle capable of inflicting mass casualties.

This is unacceptable - we cannot continue to sit idly by as mass shootings repeatedly put the lives of our children and educators at risk. My legislation would prohibit the sale of a semi-automatic assault rifle to juveniles under 21. However, in order to balance the interests of these individuals to be able to hunt and shoot for sport and the state’s interest in preventing mass shootings, my legislation will only apply to assault rifles capable of holding more than five rounds of ammunition.

As legislators, grandparents, parents, and siblings, we must do something.  Please join me in protecting our children and all Pennsylvanians from the threat of mass shootings. 

Introduced as HB2681