Federal Commission on School Safety Said to Oppose Increasing Minimum Age to Buy Guns

September 13, 2018, 5:27 PM UTC

President Donald Trump’s school safety commission won’t be recommending new age restrictions for gun ownership, The Washington Post reports.

The commission—founded after the Parkland, Fla., shooting that killed 17—did not conduct its own study on the effects of age restrictions on gun control. Based on existing evidence, however, they determined that increasing the minimum age for purchasing a gun would not effectively lower the possibility of school shootings.

According to the Post, the Department of Justice handled the commission’s discussion of gun restrictions.

Under current federal law, licensed gun dealers cannot sell a handgun to anyone under the age of 21, and cannot sell a long gun (a rifle or shotgun) to anyone under the age of 18. Unlicensed persons, however, are able to sell handguns to anyone 18 and older, and may sell long guns to a person of any age. Unlicensed persons could include a friend or a private seller at a gun show.

Some states have more restrictive age limits set on gun purchasing and ownership. After the Parkland shooting, Florida raised the minimum age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21, sparking push-back from the National Rifle Association.

The school safety commission, headed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, has floated controversial proposals for increasing student safety, including arming school personnel (and potentially using federal funds to do so). The official report of recommendations is set to be released by the end of the year.