October 3, 2022
Bipartisan discussions about potentially reforming gun laws are currently underway on Capitol Hill following a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two adults dead.

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Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., voiced support for raising the minimum age to buy firearms on Sunday following a spate of mass shootings committed by adults younger than 21. 

“I think that raising the age of gun purchase to 21 is a no-brainer. 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 told ABC News. 

“We know that the human brain develops and matures a lot between the age of 18 and 21. We just raised, without really so much as a blink, the age of purchasing cigarettes federally to 21. I think we need to get there eventually.”

Representative Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, listens during a hearing at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. 

Representative Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, listens during a hearing at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021.  (Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The suspected gunman in the elementary school shooting earlier this week in Uvalde, Texas, had purchased two AR-15 style rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition just days after turning 18. 

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He had tried to purchase weapons when he was 17 last year with his sister’s help, but she “flatly refused,” Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said Friday. 

The 18-year-old suspect in the Buffalo supermarket shooting earlier this month had a rifle and shotgun in his possession, according to authorities, but had magazines for ammunition that were banned in New York. 

Children run to safety after escaping from a window during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School where a gunman killed nineteen children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas, U.S. May 24, 2022. 

Children run to safety after escaping from a window during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School where a gunman killed nineteen children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas, U.S. May 24, 2022.  (Pete Luna/Uvalde Leader-News/Handout via REUTERS)

In the other shooting that Kinzinger cited, Nikolas Cruz had purchased an AR-15 style rifle when he was 18 before going on a shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17 people. 

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Senators have been holding behind-the-scenes bipartisan talks about potential gun control legislation in the wake of the Uvalde shooting. 

Marnie Beale of Arlington, Va., holds a sign at the Senate steps of the U.S. Capitol calling for background checks on gun purchases on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, after the latest mass shooting at a Texas elementary school

Marnie Beale of Arlington, Va., holds a sign at the Senate steps of the U.S. Capitol calling for background checks on gun purchases on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, after the latest mass shooting at a Texas elementary school (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., directed Texas Sen. John Cornyn, R, to engage with Democrats on reforms, saying that it is part of an effort to get “a bipartisan solution and come up with a proposal, if possible, that’s crafted to meet this particular problem.”

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Far-reaching legislation like the reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban appears unlikely, but a red flag law, increased mental health assistance, and funds for hardening schools could be on the table.