Manchin On Board With Raising Age Limit For Some Firearms

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) revealed support on Monday for raising the minimum age for buying semi-automatic weapons. And, in an interview with CNN, the moderate questioned why private citizens need AR-15 style rifles.

The Senate’s most conservative Democrat told the interviewer that, after every horrific tragedy, people say that this or that move would not have prevented it. The Texas elementary school massacre is different.

He claims raising the minimum age lets a person have a “little maturity to them” before being able to purchase such firearms. Manchin, who has been a consistent thorn in President Joe Biden’s agenda, asked why there’s a certain age for everything, such as driving, in our society.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in the Ninth District ruled a ban on 18- to 20-year-olds buying semi-automatic firearms is illegal. A full panel of the court has yet to make a ruling.

The conservative senator, who hails from a gun rights-supporting state, also said he “wouldn’t have a problem looking at” a federal ban on AR-15 style weapons.

Manchin said he likes to shoot and hunt, but he has never felt the need to own an AR-15 style rifle. “I never thought I had a need for that type of hyper-high-capacity automatic weapon,” he said, even though the AR-15 is only semi-automatic.

On Sunday, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) said a proposal to expand background checks is “on the table” as a bipartisan group of senators negotiates new gun restrictions. On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” he said it has not been settled but he hopes it will be included with the outcome.

The House is set to vote this week on a bill to nationalize “red flag” laws. These are aimed at keeping firearms away from people who a judge deems to be a danger to themselves or others. Currently, 19 states and the District of Columbia have these provisions on the books, though their constitutionality is in question.

However, it is not certain the move will make it through the Senate. It’s noteworthy that, if Democrats were able to dispose of the filibuster, as they want to, these issues would hardly be debated. Rather, they would simply be voted on, passed by both chambers and signed into law by Biden.