Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Mayor Pro Tem Alter Leads on Potential Ban of Assault Rifle Sales to Individuals Under 21

Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter is sponsoring a City Council resolution that directs the City Manager to explore every option for the City to prohibit or reduce the sale of AR-15 and other semi-automatic rifles to anyone below age 21. Alter, who represents District 10 on the Austin City Council, and her co-sponsors, Council Members Tovo, Pool, Ellis, and Mayor Adler, anticipate a vote on the resolution during the Council meeting this Thursday.

“We are seeking reasonable gun safety legislation to restrict the purchase of AR-15 and similar semi-automatic rifles because our state leaders have failed to address the urgent threat of gun violence in our state,” said Mayor Pro Tem Alter, who led on the creation of the City of Austin's Office of Violence Prevention in 2020 and co-hosted a gun violence summit and town hall last week. “The 18 year old murderer of 19 Texas children and 2 teachers in Uvalde used an AR-15 style weapon that he legally acquired. The 18 year old murderer in Buffalo used the same type of weapon,” Alter added. “It is incomprehensible that an 18 year old cannot purchase alcohol, tobacco, or a handgun (if nonmilitary) 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.”

“We cannot become numb to mass shootings and preventable carnage across this country. When these tragedies occur, community members look to local leaders for comfort and for answers. While I remain optimistic that the Bipartisan Gun Safety bill will bring us closer to the reform needed, making every effort possible at the local level is equally important to violence prevention,” said Mayor Steve Adler.

“We are living with an unabated epidemic of mass shootings, rooted in giving children–barely eighteen–access to assault weapons. The anguish of the parents and community members whose children have been attacked in elementary schools cannot be measured, and the anguish cannot be dismissed. I wholeheartedly support this resolution and thank Mayor Pro Tem Alter for her leadership on this matter,” said Council Member Leslie Pool.

“Too many lives have been lost to senseless murders by gun violence. Children and teachers are no longer safe in schools, worshippers are not safe at Church, people are not safe in movie theaters and grocery stores. How many more mass murders will occur before we take the common sense step of denying people too young to buy cigarettes the ability to buy assault-style rifles?” asked District 8 City Council Member Paige Ellis.

“It’s unconscionable that the State of Texas allows people under the age of 21 to purchase AR-15s under the state’s less restrictive ‘Long Guns’ statute,” said Council Member Kathie Tovo. “I fully support the City Council doing everything in our power to prohibit the sale of these types of semi-automatic weapons to teenagers in Austin.”

“The summer months often see the worst spikes of gun violence, so this is a critical time to re-examine its impact in our community,” said Mayor Pro Tem Alter.

July 4th, 2022: Independence Day Holiday Closures

  Several City of Austin offices and facilities will be closed today, Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day Parks and Recreation ...