U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon) suggested stricter regulations for the purchase of ARs, saying it’s time to have a discussion and consider a special license for AR purchases or other measures to make sure these weapons are not so readily available for bad actors.
He said in a May 31 ABC “This Week” interview, raising the gun purchase age to 21 is a no brainer. Federal law requires an individual to be 18 buy a long gun and 21 to purchase a handgun.
“If you look at the Parkland shooting, you look at Buffalo, you look at this shooting, these are people under the age of 21,” Kinzinger said. “We know the human brain develops and matures a lot between the ages of 18 and 21. We just raised without so much as a blink the age of purchasing cigarettes federally to 21.”
He co-sponsored H.R. 3015 - The Raise the Age Act, and H.R. 1007 - The Hadiya Pendleton and Nyasia Pryear Yard Gun Trafficking and Crime Prevention Act. These bills would establish new requirements on the sale of firearms to adults younger than 21 and make trafficking in firearms a stand-alone criminal offense.
“My side is not coming forward with reasonable ways to defend an amendment that we think is very important,” Kinzinger said. “I’m looking at this going, ‘Fine, if people are going to put forward solutions about certifying maybe who can buy an assault weapon, I’m certainly open to that.’”
Kinzinger said he still owns his AR-15 and calls himself a strong defender of the Second Amendment, but he said he’s sick of the school shootings and believes in reasonable legislation. He said he’s willing to have a serious conversation about future laws regulating the AR-15, and that may include licensing them.
“Is there a special license you need to own one?” Kinzinger suggested about the AR-15. “Are there ways that can ensure that those who own them are the ones, and we have to admit 99.9% of AR owners aren’t the ones walking in and having mass shootings.”
Shortly after shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in 2019, Kinzinger advocated for universal background checks for gun purchases, raising the age to 21 to purchase a firearm, and banning certain high capacity magazines.
In 2017, he wrote to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives following the shooting deaths in Las Vegas, Nevada, urging a re-evaluation of bump-stock devices with the goal of ultimately banning these attachments.
In the past, Kinzinger has supported H.R. 8 - Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 and H.R. 38 Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which establishes a more stringent federal framework for concealed carry permits and background checks.