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Neguse introduces gun safety bill aimed at age requirements

Michael Karlik - Colorado Politics  | Published on 10/19/2021

U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse has introduced legislation that would enable the federal background check system to identify gun purchasers who are prohibited by their home state's laws from buying a weapon due to their age.

The bill, for which U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter is a cosponsor, is a response to the Florida woman who traveled to Colorado in 2019 around the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School mass murder. The 18-year-old purchased a firearm upon arrival in Colorado that would have been illegal for her to buy in her home state because of her age.

The bill would add the state-level age requirement to the list of prohibitors identified through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The woman who traveled to Colorado, later found dead after an extensive search by law enforcement, prompted widespread school closures based on the credible threat she allegedly presented.

"Background checks keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, but they’re only as strong as the weakest link in the system,” said Shannon Watts, founder of the gun safety group Moms Demand Action. “This common-sense bill closes a simple one: if you’re too young to purchase a gun in your home state, a federal background check should catch that and help enforce those laws."