Cal­i­for­nia rais­ing age for long guns

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - NEWS - Doug Stan­glin

Cal­i­for­nia Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a se­ries of gun con­trol bills into law, in­clud­ing one that raises the min­i­mum age from 18 to 21 for buy­ing ri­fles and shot­guns.

The new law, which takes ef­fect Jan. 1, ex­empts law en­force­ment, mem­bers of the mil­i­tary and peo­ple with hunt­ing li­censes from the re­stric­tion. State law al­ready bans peo­ple un­der 21 from buy­ing hand­guns.

Among the bills signed Fri­day by the Demo­cratic gov­er­nor is one im­pos­ing a life­time ban on pur­chase of firearms by peo­ple con­victed of se­ri­ous do­mes­tic vi­o­lence charges or with se­ri­ous men­tal health prob­lems.

An­other will re­quire Cal­i­for­ni­ans to un­dergo at least eight hours of train­ing, in­clud­ing live-fire ex­er­cises, be­fore car­ry­ing con­cealed weapons.

Brown ve­toed one mea­sure that would have lim­ited an in­di­vid­ual’s pur­chase to one ri­fle or shot­gun in any 30-day pe­riod.

State Sen. An­thony Por­tantino, a Demo­crat, who au­thored the law on rais­ing the age limit for pur­chases of long guns, said he was mo­ti­vated by the killing of 17 stu­dents and school em­ploy­ees at Mar­jory Stone­man Dou­glas High School in Park­land, Florida, in Fe­bru­ary. A 19-year-old former stu­dent there is ac­cused of us­ing a semi­au­to­matic ri­fle in the ram­page.

“I was de­ter­mined to help Cal­i­for­nia re­spond ap­pro­pri­ately to the tragic events our coun­try has re­cently faced on high school cam­puses,” Por­tantino said in a state­ment. “No par­ent should have to worry that a gun gets in the wrong hands.”

In March, Rick Scott, the Repub­li­can gov­er­nor of Florida, signed a bill rais­ing the min­i­mum age for buy­ing long guns in that state from 18 to 21.

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