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The Austin City Council voted to approve a resolution that would “explore every option” allowing the city to raise the minimum age to buy an AR-15 style weapon or other semi-automatic weapons.
Minutes for the June 16 meeting states that the council approved “a resolution directing the City Manager to explore every option that would allow the City to prohibit or reduce the sale of AR-15 style weapons and other semi-automatic rifles to anyone below the age of 21.”
The resolution comes just weeks after the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 children dead and two adults dead.
Alison Alter, council member for District 10 in Austin, Texas, said the resolution was prompted by recent mass shootings when speaking to FOX 7 Austin.
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“This was prompted by Uvalde, by Buffalo, both situations where you had 18-year-olds who were legally able to purchase AR-15s and wreak destruction and to murder other people,” Alter said.
“Any life lost if a life that could have been saved by not having access to any AR-15 period,” Alter said. “I am the parent of a student who’s in high school and anything that we can do to restrict access to AR-15 makes my son safer and every other parents, kids in our community safer.”
Mackenzie Kelly, District 6 council member, said during the June 16 meeting that any attempt to limit the sale of firearms would violate state law.
“I believe that any attempt by Austin to restrict, regulate, or hamper the sales of firearms does violate state preemption laws. And that violation of the preemption law risks a lawsuit from the attorney general, which I think is a needless waste of taxpayer resources,” Kelly said.
She also noted that nothing in the resolution would keep Austin residents from traveling elsewhere in the state to purchase a weapon.
The report states that city officials are already preparing for potential legal challenges to any action the city makes.
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Texas Sen. John Cornyn, meanwhile, is negotiating the bipartisan gun control and gun violence prevention bill with Democrats after the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
A framework for the potential bill was announced last week, and included the Texas senator’s support.
The framework includes plans to implement an enhanced review process for people who want to purchase firearms and are under the age of 21, penalties for straw purchases, more funding for school resource officers, an expansion of mental health programs in schools, and an expansion of mental health services for children and families.
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Specific deals are still being ironed out; however, Cornyn left Washington, D.C. on Thursday without a deal with Democrats, and said that “We’re not ready to release any smoke. So we don’t have a deal yet.”