Students hold panel discussion on gun violence

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Officials said the suspect in Wednesday's Florida school shooting purchased an AR-15 legally.

Under current Massachusetts state law, the 19-year-old would not have been able to purchase the weapon.

No one under the age of 21 can purchase a handgun, large capacity weapon, or large capacity feeding device in Massachusetts.

The Baystate has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. In Florida, you don’t need a permit or license, and the minimum age is 18 years old. Walter Lamon is the owner of Culverine Firearms in Agawam. He told Western Mass News tells the most popular caliber for an AR-15 is 223.

The National Rifle Association calls the AR-15 the 'most popular rifle in America'. “The reason I think it’s very popular is because it’s a good rifle. It’s used for target competitions, it’s used for hunting and it’s used for self-defense," said Lamon. Apparently, it's also popular for mass shootings.

In five of the deadliest mass shootings in the last six years in the United States, the gunman used an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle.

Lamon said he has family living in the Parkland, Florida area, and they know people who lost a child in the attack. He said that going forward, it’s up to law enforcement. “Trying to legislate this type of activity out of existence, it’s not going to work,” he said.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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