Hastert favors raising legal age for handgun ownership
May 19, 1999
Web posted at: 9:14 a.m. EDT (1314 GMT)
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, May 19) -- House Speaker Dennis
Hastert entered the fierce debate on gun control Tuesday, saying he favored raising the minimum age for owning a handgun to 21 and requiring background checks for all sales at gun shows.
"I'm just saying 21 is basically a standard of adulthood, and
there's probably a uniformity that fits there," said Hastert
On the background check issue, he said, "I think there needs
to be uniformity in what they do at gun shows and what they
do in a retail business."
The legal age for buying handguns in the United States is
18. Many of Hastert's Republican colleagues have opposed
raising that age.
Hastert made the comments shortly before the Senate voted 78-
20 to require the sale of "secure gun storage or safety
devices" with all handgun purchases.
The provision also provides liability protections for a gun
owner who uses a safety lock and whose gun is stolen and used
in a crime.
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott said last week that he
favors background checks at gun shows, but is opposed to
raising the purchasing age.
An aide from Lott's office told CNN that Hastert's comments
were puzzling because the gun control issue it not slated to
come up in the House of Representatives anytime soon.
Congressional Correspondent Bob Franken contributed to this report