New York raises minimum age to buy semi-automatic rifles to 21 after nationwide shootings

The new legislation offers security forces the tools to “prevent easy access to weapons.”

Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

New York state lawmakers approved a new law Thursday that raises the minimum age to buy semi-automatic rifles from 18 to part of a package to increase gun control, following the recent massacre in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 children were killed.

“Our country-leading gun package just passed both chambers. New York is taking swift action to strengthen safety alert laws, close loopholes, and protect communities,” Governor Kathy Hochul wrote in a brief message that she will need to sign the law for it to go into effect.

In a subsequent statement, Hochul added that the new legislation gives law enforcement the tools to “prevent easy access to weapons.”

The new law also prohibits the sale of ammunition that passes through bulletproof vests.the sale of bulletproof protection and revises what is known as the “red flag” law, to identify those people who may eventually harm themselves or others if they are in possession of a weapon.

In this way, New York becomes the first state in the country to restrict the purchase of weapons after the Uvalde shooting and the recent massacres in Buffalo (New York) and Tulsa (Oklahoma).

In the statement, Hochul stressed that the gun problem is a national one and urged lawmakers in Washington to “seize this moment and take meaningful action to prevent gun violence.”

Hours earlier, the president of the United States, Joe Biden, urged the federal Congress and Senate to prohibit the sale of assault weapons or, alternatively, to increase the minimum age to buy them from 18 to 25 years.

Biden also called for high-capacity magazines to be banned, for background checks on potential buyers to be strengthened, for the law to be enforced to ensure the safe storage of weapons, and for the “immunity that protects gun manufacturers to be repealed.” weapons”.

Yesterday, the New York Attorney General’s Office showed a strong hand against the homemade weapons sector, subject to very restrictive legislation in the state, and ordered almost thirty companies to stop selling parts or be exposed to fines.

Homemade weapons (known as “ghost guns”) allow, from kits with parts, to assemble weapons that are difficult for the authorities to trace since they lack a serial number, and are usually used by people who legally they cannot access weapons.

On the other hand, legislators have approved several measures to strengthen legal protections for abortion providers, as well as for women who come from outside New York to have an abortion in a context in which several states are choosing to ban it and while the US Supreme Court is expected to decide whether or not to nullify the right to abortion at the federal level.

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