The GOP Fight Over Assault Rifle Purchase Age

Senator John Cornyn Courtesy of Creative Commons

By Brilee Carey 2/26/2018

Texas Senator John Cornyn disagrees with President Trump that raising the minimum age to purchase an assault rifle will save lives.

The Republican Senator announced that he does not even believe such legislation would have enough support from the GOP to pass if it were introduced. Rather, Cornyn believes the Senate should focus on strengthening the National Instant Criminal Background Check System through his “Fix NICS” bill. Cornyn agrees that gun control is a bipartisan issue and that everyone is intent on making sure that no one else has to die needlessly.

“That’s why I think the focus should be on the Fix NICS bill,” said Cornyn, “which is the only bipartisan piece of legislation that can be signed into law.”

Senator John Cornyn
Courtesy of Creative Commons

One of Cornyn’s main arguments against raising the age limit is that it would be complicated to enforce if an 18-year-old Marine or police officer were told they could not purchase an assault rifle. Cornyn said he does not understand why the Senate would take time to pass a bill that “[he] do[es] not think gets to the root of the problem.”

Other top Republican Senators supported the President when he suggested higher age limits. They included Marco Rubio of Florida, Pat Roberts of Kansas, and Jeff Flake of Arizona. Despite this, Cornyn still feels that the idea is more emotionally motivated rather than logic based.

Cornyn also said there were talks to try and have the Senate vote unanimous agreement, rather than a roll call vote, as early as today for his “Fix NICS” bill. The House has already passed the same bill, but with an attachment regarding concealed carry. That version would likely be dead upon arrival to the Senate, as Democrats are extremely opposed to the addition made that would allow individuals with concealed carry permits to travel between states.