ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — With the Legislative session scheduled to end soon, a major issue following two mass shootings is gun control. The Governor announced on Wednesday she wants to raise the age for gun purchases to 21.
“Anybody who is able to commit an act like this, they’re not mentally well. They’re generally mentally adrift; they’re generally looking for something to latch onto,” said Craig Serafini, owner of Upstate Guns & Ammo.
A common denominator among the shooters in both Uvalde and Buffalo is the AR-15 weapon. Serafini says it’s actually easier to obtain an AR-15 than a handgun.
He says there’s two processes to get a firearm: one is for handguns, the other for long guns, or AR-15 types.
You must be at least 18 years old. Once you select the firearm you want, you have to submit paperwork for a federal background check which will come back with a response of yes, no or maybe. This same process is used for handguns with the additional requirements of a permit and approval by the county judge.
And when it comes to possibly raising the age, Serafini says he respects the Governor’s desire for change, but doesn’t think it would be effective.
“We need to change the conversation that’s been had. And what we’re seeing is that the same things are not working. Focusing on mental health and how to help people through that I think is gonna matter more than anything else we can do in society,” he said.
Senator Jeremy Cooney supports the Governors idea, but says he wants a complete ban for AR-15 type rifles.
“I just don’t see a civilian purpose for that type of weapon. We’re talking about weapons that are used in the wars that we follow. Our military should have access to the best weapons to protect our country and to protect others. That’s not what we’re talking about,” said Cooney.
He also says something needs to change on a federal level, “It’s not always the individual who is totally at fault it’s the ability of that individual who has issues to then access the weapons to execute their plan.”
The Governor’s idea has not made it to a formal legislation as of yet, but we’ll have the latest with those updates.