10 House Republicans back raising semi-automatic rifle purchase age to 21


Ten House Republicans backed a symbolic vote on Wednesday to raise from 18 to 21 the minimum age of purchase for a semi-automatic rifle. 

The defectors voted to retain language raising the age of purchase in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s wide-ranging gun control package. 

The Republican representatives who voted with the Democrats included Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Chris Smith of New Jersey and Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida.

GOP Reps. Mike Turner and Anthony Gonzales of Ohio also backed the measure, as did three Republican members of New York’s delegation — Reps. Nicole Malliotakis, John Katko and Chris Jacobs.

Mr. Jacobs recently was forced to drop his bid for reelection after coming out in favor of banning military-style assault weapons. 

Two Democrats, Reps. Jared Golden of Maine and Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, voted against the provision. 

The legislation, known as the Protecting Our Kids Act, is dead on arrival in the evenly split Senate. 

Not only does it raise the minimum age required to purchase a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21, but it also restricts gun magazines to no more than 10 bullets. The legislation also requires existing bump stocks to be registered while banning the sale of bump stocks for civilian use.

Also included in the package is a bill that would encourage states to adopt “red flag” laws that allow authorities to confiscate firearms from people whom a court deems dangerous. 

Moderate House Democrats initially wanted to split up the package and vote on the various provisions individually. Mrs. Pelosi struck a deal, however, allowing lawmakers to vote on whether the individual bills would be included in the package. 

That move allowed moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats to vote or oppose portions of the legislation, without having to vote for it as a whole.