Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday said he’s open to having a conversation about age limits for “AR-15-style weapons,” making him the most recent Republican to specific a willingness to reexamine gun laws within the wake of last week’s mass shooting at a Texas elementary school.
“I feel you’ve got to find a way to speak concerning the AR-style weapons and whether that’s an 18 or 21 age. You’ve gotten to not less than have a conversation about that,” Hutchinson said in an interview with CNN.
He went on to say that he desires to see more “investment in higher levels of college safety,” but didn’t go into specifics.
Hutchinson had expressed an identical willingness to debate age limits in an interview Sunday with CBS News’ “Face the Nation” but said that he didn’t consider it’s an answer to the nation’s gun violence and that he wouldn’t endorse it, when asked.
He as an alternative cautioned that federal courts have up to now ruled that it’s unconstitutional to lower the age limit for purchasing rifles and shotguns ― though it’s illegal for anyone under 21 to purchase a handgun within the U.S.
“I come down on the purpose that that’s not going to be the answer. And it’s going to cause more harm than good,” he said Sunday, before occurring to suggest there be discussions on semi-automatic rifles, just like the AR-15, being legally distinguished from rifles and shotguns.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said Sunday that he believes it might “cause more harm than good” to lift the minimum age to purchase an AR-15 from 18 to 21. pic.twitter.com/6wIDNgZxNE
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) May 30, 2022
Hutchinson’s expressed willingness to carry discussions on gun laws follows similar momentum from fellow Republicans in recent days, as a bipartisan group of senators meet to debate a possible gun violence bill within the wake of last week’s latest shooting.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-In poor health.) on Sunday said he believes raising the age limit to buy a gun is a “no-brainer” and that he’d even be “open” to banning assault weapons altogether. He said he’s heard from other Republicans in private who also support changing gun laws to curb violence.
Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-N.Y.), who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association in 2020, also told reporters on Saturday that he would support an assault weapons ban and setting 21 because the minimum age to purchase guns.
Jacobs, whose district is in Buffalo where an 18-year-old gunman killed 10 people earlier this month, said his changing stance on gun laws was directly impacted by the nation’s recent gun violence.