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Cooper Says North Carolina Should Raise Minimum Age To Buy Firearms

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Karen A. Blum/ Flickr
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Governor Roy Cooper at swearing in ceremony, Jan. 2017

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the state should raise the minimum age of buying assault weapons to 21 and is calling on closing a loophole in state law that allows non-licensed private sellers to sell high-capacity firearms without a background check.

Cooper posted his remarks on the website Medium the same day students are demonstrating over gun policy nation-wide after a gunman shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in  Florida last month. The governor said he is also directing the North Carolina Department of Public Safety to make sure their emergency response plans are in order.

“But preparing for the worst and praying it never happens isn’t enough,” Cooper wrote. “We need smart changes to our laws that will help keep dangerous weapons from getting into the wrong hands.”

Cooper also proposes incorporating better mental health services in the state, banning bump stocks, and he directs the State Bureau of Investigation to assess the federal background check process.

“We can’t wait for Washington to act this time,” Cooper wrote. “The safety and security of our kids are on the line, and I urge the General Assembly to join me in taking decisive action to do right by them.”