Bill seeks to raise minimum age for buying rifles, shotguns in NJ to 21

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

Some New Jersey lawmakers are trying to raise the minimum age to purchase a rifle or shotgun in New Jersey.

A Democrat-backed measure would raise from 18 to 21 the age to get a permit for purchasing either weapon. State law already requires people to be 21 to purchase handguns.

According to the FBI, 18- to 20-year-olds commit gun homicides at a rate nearly four times higher than adults 21 or older. The bill's sponsors say their measure could help prevent gun violence. However, gun-rights advocate Scott Bach says the bill will be "ignored by criminals and madmen."

There will be exemptions for people on active duty or honorably discharged, competitions or target practice, those with a hunting license or people in the presence of a legal guardian with a permit.

Gov. Phil Murphy has previously expressed support for stricter gun laws.

The bill would be the latest in a series of gun-control bills introduced to the New Jersey Legislature since a mass shooting at a high school in Florida left 17 people dead.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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