Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

senate Bill S. 3171

Should People Under Age 16 be Banned From Possessing or Using Assault Weapons?

Argument in favor

There’s never a need for a person under the age of 16 to possess an assault weapon. It should be illegal for someone so young to ever have one in their possession, even at a firing range.

Katherine's Opinion
···
07/26/2016
You can't drive until you're 16, why should you be able to use a gun? Both are deadly and require a level of responsibility. Why are we ok with limiting the driving age, age of consent, and drinking age, but not the age at which a child can use something only intended to kill another human being?
Like (146)
Follow
Share
Haley's Opinion
···
07/26/2016
People are against this because it won't allow their children to hunt. In what place in the United States do you need a machine gun to kill a deer?
Like (10)
Follow
Share
Melissa's Opinion
···
07/26/2016
What in the world does a child (not to mention any person) need an assault weapon for? Please, enlighten me.
Like (10)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

This bill would wrongly revoke the ability of parents to teach their children about responsible gun ownership while using many of the most popular models of rifles, pistols, and shotguns.

Jaden's Opinion
···
07/26/2016
The AR-15, the firearm that gun control supporters most often call an “assault weapon,” is the most popular rifle on the market today, accounting for one-fourth of all rifles manufactured in the United States. AR-15s are commonly kept for protection, home defense, they’re the most widely used rifle in marksmanship competitions and formal training, they’re widely used for recreational shooting, and they’re commonly used for hunting. Americans acquire roughly a million new AR-15s every year, in addition to large numbers of comparable semi-automatic rifles. Magazines that hold more than 10 rounds are standard equipment for semi-automatic handguns commonly owned and carried for self-defense, as well as for rifles like the AR-15. The ownership of firearms that gun control supporters call “assault weapons” and ammunition magazines they call “large” have risen to all-time highs, the nation’s murder rate has fallen to an all-time low, and total violent crime has fallen to a 44-year low. Gun control supporters have been predicting for about a quarter-century that increased ownership of these firearms and magazines would cause crime to rise, the same thing they said about increased ownership of handguns during the 1970s and 1980s. In both instances, gun control supporters were obviously wrong. Putting "Machine gun" and "Assault weapon" under the same bill is trying to paint them as the same type of gun. A "machine gun" or automatic rifle, for those of you (the legislator that drafted this bill) that have never purchased a gun, or tried to buy a gun, is already illegal for a 16 year old to purchase unless they have a class 3 License. They have to be at least 21, and that isn't the only requirement. A 16 year old statistically can cause more damage getting behind the wheel of a car than they can owning a semi automatic weapon for self defense or hunting.
Like (195)
Follow
Share
Semaje's Opinion
···
07/26/2016
I'm from Alabama. In rural areas teens hunt, protect animals from predators, intruders etc. even though I wouldn't allow my own pre adolescent children to use firearms, I can't support legislation that would take that right from others that need it.
Like (82)
Follow
Share
pgshpak's Opinion
···
07/26/2016
Generally speaking, I think it's silly to bring a minor to a gun range and give them an assault rifle. Generally speaking, I also am not in the business of telling people how to raise their kids. The government shouldn't be either.
Like (73)
Follow
Share

What is Senate Bill S. 3171?

This bill would prohibit people under the age of 16 from possessing or using guns that are defined as a “machinegun” or “semiautomatic assault weapon” by the legislation. The ban would prevent people under the age of 16 from having a covered weapon sold, transferred, or loaned to them — even for use at a firing range. Violations of this legislation would be punished by fines, imprisonment of up to 10 years, or a combination thereof.

The term “semiautomatic assault weapon” would be defined as meaning a rifle, pistol, or shotgun with a detachable magazine that carries more than 10 rounds (five rounds for shotguns), parts designed to accelerate the rate of fire, or has one of the following characteristics:

  • Pistol grip;

  • Forward grip;

  • Folding, telescoping, or detachable stock;

  • Barrel shroud;

  • Threaded barrel;

  • The ability to attach a grenade or rocket launcher.

The legislation also defines specific types and brands of weapons as “semiautomatic assault weapons” including all AK and AR rifles, all Thompson rifles, and several other varieties specifically mentioned in subsection (b) of the bill’s text.

Impact

People under the age of 16, their families and friends; gun ranges and gun sellers; plus law enforcement and judicial entities at all levels of government.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 3171

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced this bill to keep what he views as powerful firearms out of the hands of people under age 16:

“The small hands of children and big power of machine guns are a deadly combination. The HEART Act is simple and straightforward. It prohibits the transfer of a machine gun or semiautomatic weapon to anyone under the age of 16. Not at a gun range, not at a gun show, not while hunting, not anywhere, anytime. Assault weapons are weapons of war and should not be allowed in the hands of children.”

Todd Rather, the executive director of a gun rights group known as NFA Freedom Alliance offered the following critique of what he views as an assault on “the ability for a parent to choose the manner and type of gun safety” their family receives:

“As it is drafted, this bill would prohibit a parent from allowing their child to hunt or target shoot with millions of the most common, popular, and safe firearms in existence, including the ubiquitous Ruger 10/22 .22 caliber rifle — the most popular rimfire rifle in America — if it has common features such as a threaded barrel, folding stock, or a pistol grip. If a parent hands a gun on this massive ‘ban list’ to their child, the parent could go to federal prison.”



Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: By Ratha Grimes from Sarasota, FL, United States - Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=639542)

AKA

HEART Act

Official Title

A bill to prohibit the transfer, loan, or other disposition of a machinegun or semiautomatic assault weapon to an individual under 16 years of age.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJuly 12th, 2016
    You can't drive until you're 16, why should you be able to use a gun? Both are deadly and require a level of responsibility. Why are we ok with limiting the driving age, age of consent, and drinking age, but not the age at which a child can use something only intended to kill another human being?
    Like (146)
    Follow
    Share
    The AR-15, the firearm that gun control supporters most often call an “assault weapon,” is the most popular rifle on the market today, accounting for one-fourth of all rifles manufactured in the United States. AR-15s are commonly kept for protection, home defense, they’re the most widely used rifle in marksmanship competitions and formal training, they’re widely used for recreational shooting, and they’re commonly used for hunting. Americans acquire roughly a million new AR-15s every year, in addition to large numbers of comparable semi-automatic rifles. Magazines that hold more than 10 rounds are standard equipment for semi-automatic handguns commonly owned and carried for self-defense, as well as for rifles like the AR-15. The ownership of firearms that gun control supporters call “assault weapons” and ammunition magazines they call “large” have risen to all-time highs, the nation’s murder rate has fallen to an all-time low, and total violent crime has fallen to a 44-year low. Gun control supporters have been predicting for about a quarter-century that increased ownership of these firearms and magazines would cause crime to rise, the same thing they said about increased ownership of handguns during the 1970s and 1980s. In both instances, gun control supporters were obviously wrong. Putting "Machine gun" and "Assault weapon" under the same bill is trying to paint them as the same type of gun. A "machine gun" or automatic rifle, for those of you (the legislator that drafted this bill) that have never purchased a gun, or tried to buy a gun, is already illegal for a 16 year old to purchase unless they have a class 3 License. They have to be at least 21, and that isn't the only requirement. A 16 year old statistically can cause more damage getting behind the wheel of a car than they can owning a semi automatic weapon for self defense or hunting.
    Like (195)
    Follow
    Share
    I'm from Alabama. In rural areas teens hunt, protect animals from predators, intruders etc. even though I wouldn't allow my own pre adolescent children to use firearms, I can't support legislation that would take that right from others that need it.
    Like (82)
    Follow
    Share
    Generally speaking, I think it's silly to bring a minor to a gun range and give them an assault rifle. Generally speaking, I also am not in the business of telling people how to raise their kids. The government shouldn't be either.
    Like (73)
    Follow
    Share
    Firearms education and outreach starts at a young age. I learned a lot about responsibility from shooting all types of firearms starting around when I was 12. Legislating what should be family decisions is a destructive idea.
    Like (51)
    Follow
    Share
    The reason we have such an issue with guns in this country, is people are scared of something they don't understand and don't know how it works. I'm glad I was taught gun safety, even with "assault" weapons(though that is a made up term). I know that they're dangerous and when and how to use it. Besides, it should be up to a parent, not the government if they want their child around guns.
    Like (42)
    Follow
    Share
    Parents need to be able to train their children to properly use firearms.
    Like (36)
    Follow
    Share
    Denying citizens who are 16 years of age or younger the ability to have access to these firearms, even at a firing range is the wrong idea in my opinion. What happens if a 15 year old is home alone, and an intruder breaks into the house? Limiting options in response to this threat is the wrong thing to do. Furthermore, preventing people from training with a weapon breeds incompetence which begets horrifying accidents.
    Like (25)
    Follow
    Share
    This is nothing more than another step in the process of stigmatizing guns in American culture by keeping our children from learning about firearms.
    Like (22)
    Follow
    Share
    Protect our 2nd Amendment created by the founding fathers of this country!!
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    Countable member John G. said: "I think all weapons should be under the control of an adult, however I don't think anyone should tell parents how to raise their children. If parents feel it's necessary for their children to be able to handle weapons then they need to be able to teach them safety and responsibility. With what is happening on our borders there are households where there are reasons a teenager may need access to weapons for their own safety." I agree with John! I VOTE NAY! Quit attacking our 2A right to KEEP AND BEAR ARMS and our right to raise our children the way we see fit, including teaching them to handle a gun safely and responsibly. Oh, BTW, a "machine gun" and "assault weapon"? GIVE ME A BREAK! DemoCommies just keep trying to scare people who know almost nothing about guns by misleading them. Anyway, your FIST is technically an assault weapon, if you hit someone with it! Also, do you really think a bill like this will keep ANY KIND OF GUNS out of the hands of teenage GANG MEMBERS?! If so, you are SERIOUSLY DELUSIONAL!
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    This is an idiotic fearmongering bill that is not based on logic. This bill would ban 16 year olds from possessing one firearm based on politically defined cosmetic/ergonomic features, while allowing them to shoot the exact same firearm in slightly different configurations. Pre-teens and young teens are completely capable of safely handling firearms. The entire purpose of this is to indoctrinate the next generation to be afraid of guns and will not do anything to keep teens safe. Protect the second amendment.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    If a 16 is home alone and the robber or a killer come in how will he try to defend him or herself with a knife or better a baseball bat. A person would outsmart him or her with any weapon. A gun is the hardest weapon to outsmart someone after a canyon
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    Are we considering people under the age of 16 non-Americans? Are we going to take away any of their other constitutional rights simply because of their age?
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    How to properly handle and respect a weapon starts at a young age. It's not your business to decide how others choose to raise their children.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    In order to create responsible gun owners, we must teach them from a young age. By prolonging the ability to exposure, we make them more reckless in the end.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    What in the world does a child (not to mention any person) need an assault weapon for? Please, enlighten me.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    It's the parents responsibility to determine what's best for their children, NOT the government's.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    People are against this because it won't allow their children to hunt. In what place in the United States do you need a machine gun to kill a deer?
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    It's not the weapons that are the problem it's the weak minded people who are the problem,when you outlaw the weapons only the outlaws will have them. We can not give up are constitutional rights for safety if we do we will have neither.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE