“I don’t want 18-year-olds to have guns, at least not in New York State,” Hochul said at a briefing on Wednesday. New York State law already sets an age limit for buying guns at 21 years old.
The Democrat said she wanted to work with the state legislature to raise the legal age for buying AR-15 rifles.
Police say an 18-year-old gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday had a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle. So did an armed man who killed 10 black people at a supermarket in Buffalo earlier this month, officials said.
“How does an 18-year-old buy an AR-15 in New York, Texas?” Hachul asked. “This man is not old enough to buy a legal drink.”
Hochul, a native of Buffalo, looked emotional at the briefing before the meeting of the multi-state task force on illegal weapons.
“Only this morning, when we are all swaying in pain, do I ask myself as governor: should I just leave all the flags lowered? They are still lowered from Buffalo,” Hochul said.
Only six states – California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Vermont and Washington – require shoppers to be at least 21 years old instead of 18 to purchase rifles or shotguns, according to the Giffords Law Center for the Prevention of Violence with Weapons. These states have the same higher age limits for firearms, while some other states do not have age restrictions for any firearms at all, says the Arms Control Advocacy Group.
Under local law, New York already prohibits the possession of any firearms by persons under the age of 21, with some exceptions for people who participate in military exercises or competitions or are under the supervision of an authorized gun owner.
Copyright © 2022, Associated Press. All rights reserved.