UT Study: Majority of Texans Back Minimum Age Hike for Gun Buying

A new poll conducted by the University of Texas has revealed that a majority of Texans are in favor of raising the minimum age for firearm purchases from 18 to 21. According to the survey, 76% of voters are on board with this proposal. In light of this information, Democratic analyst Ed Espinoza and James Dickey, president of JD Consulting, joined FOX 7 Austin’s Mike Warren to discuss this important issue.

Warren asked Espinoza whether he believes lawmakers will take heed of this new poll. To which he responded, “No, they will not. Republicans will not do anything on guns. At least they haven’t shown a willingness to do that just yet. But they should do something because a majority, like you said, a majority of voters want this. A majority of Republicans want this,” he emphasized.

Espinoza expressed his urgency in addressing this pervasive problem, stating that many of the recent shooters, including those from Uvalde and Santa Fe Springs, were under the age of 21. These young assailants, he said, have gone through all the safety precautions that schools teach kids against active shooters and have a tactical advantage when attacking schools because of their familiarity with school safety protocols.

On the other hand, Dickey argued that raising the minimum age to 21 for firearm purchases would be unconstitutional since it would interfere with the right to self-defense, which he claims is one of the inalienable rights that American citizens possess. Despite the fact that the U.S. government does limit certain activities based on age, such as buying alcohol or tobacco, they don’t have the right to impede our right to protect ourselves, he argued.

Dickey also stated that the only shootings that have occurred in schools are those in which school districts have failed to allow teachers and students to defend themselves, which Texas law does permit. He maintained that, “if they would just stop preventing self-defense in those schools, we could end [school shootings] tomorrow.”

Espinoza countered Dickey’s suggestion of arming students and teachers with pointing out that adding more guns to school premises would only increase the likelihood of violence occurring. He commented that, “putting more guns in schools is not going to be a way to stop more school shootings or shootings anywhere else.”

As the debate concluded, Warren stated that the ball is now in the court of Texas lawmakers to take affirmative action on the issue.

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