Austin looks to raise AR-15, semiautomatic gun purchase age to 21

In the wake of the Uvalde school shooting, activists are all saying enough is enough.

On Thursday, the Austin City Council will vote whether or not to begin the process of raising the age limit to 21 for buying AR-15’s and other semiautomatic weapons. 

Texas Gun Sense says it's just one tool in the toolbox

"If you look at the science behind development, I think there are some indicators that people at certain ages may not be ready for that responsibility," said Nicole Golden, executive director, Texas Gun Sense.

The resolution will direct the city manager to explore all ways the city can adopt this law. Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter sponsored the item. In a statement, she told FOX 7 Austin in part:

"It is incomprehensible that an 18-year-old cannot purchase alcohol, tobacco, or a handgun (if non-military) legally in Texas, but an 18-year-old can purchase an AR-15 or similar semi-automatic rifle in our city and endanger the lives of our neighbors," said Alter.

Not all on council are on board. 

"I believe we are sending the city manager on a fool's errand to solve a problem that we have no jurisdiction to solve," said Mackenzie Kelly, District Six.

Kelly feels something needs to be done, but the city should stay in its lane.

"We as council members should do everything we can within out purview at the city level," said Kelly.

Central Texas Gun Works owner Michael Cargill is not surprised by what he calls a knee jerk reaction by the city.

"Only the Texas legislature can regulate the use of firearms," said Cargill.

He believes there are things the city can do, at the city level to prevent shootings, especially in the downtown area.

"We need to impose some type of curfew, and wand everyone that goes into the different bars down there," said Cargill.

Golden believes this move by council could encourage state lawmakers to do the same.

"We are advocating at the state legislature for the same thing. If you look at polling and public sentiment, there is wide support right now to raise the age of purchase for semiautomatic weapons to 21," said Golden.