STRICTER GUN LAWS: Gov. Cooper wants to raise legal age of 'assault weapon' sales to 21

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- On a day when thousands of students across the nation took part in the #Enough National School Walkout, Governor Roy Cooper called for stricter gun laws.

READ MORE: Triangle-area students participate in #ENOUGH National School Walkout

"After the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, conversations about school safety and gun reforms have taken place all over America," Cooper said Wednesday. "Brave students are making their voices heard, and it's clear they want action. I do too."

While state schools are already making a change to keep students safer by loading the halls with law enforcement and other resources, Cooper said that's not enough.

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

What Cooper wants to improve

  • Strengthen the background check system
  • Raise the legal age of sale of assault weapons to age 21
  • Require anyone buying assault weapons to go through the same background check and permitting process as they would for a handgun
  • A ban on bump stocks if the federal governments ban falls through
  • Seek better treatment for those with mental illnesses

"Until the federal government takes action to discontinue the sale of assault weapons to civilians, North Carolina law should be updated to raise the legal age of sale of these weapons to age 21 and require anyone buying them - at a store, online, or at a gun show - to go through the same background check and permitting process as they would for a handgun," Cooper said. "There's no good reason for the current double standard. Background checks are an important part of keeping guns out of the wrong hands, but they are only as good as the information in the database.

Cooper's full statement can be found on his website.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.