Last week, a federal judge upheld Florida’s law banning firearm sales to under 21 years old. The law was passed as part of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act which raised the purchasing age to 21. Previously, Floridians 18 to 20 were permitted to purchase firearms.
The judge, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker, reluctantly upheld the law based on the Eleventh Circuit’s Second Amendment precedent but warned about the potential damage to 18-to-20-year-olds’ Second Amendment rights.
Walker points out the age group being discriminated against, is in all likelihood, the demographic in need of firearms for self-defense.
“Worse still, it is likely that these particular 18-to-20-year-olds are the ones who actually need firearms to defend themselves: they are likely independent, likely to live in dangerous neighborhoods, and likely to have families and children of their own. Why should the 20-year-old single mother living on her own be unable to obtain a firearm for self-defense when a 20-year-old living with their parents can easily obtain one?”
In the legislation, 18-to-20-year-olds can obtain a firearm with the help of a parent or other relatives.
Walker also pointed out that it is unclear if this check on firearms purchases will, in fact, have any consequence regarding the prevention of another tragedy, like the one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Fla.
The National Rifle Association (NRA), who filed the lawsuit, was disappointed in the decision by Walker, but said they will continue to fight.
“While this decision is a setback, NRA-ILA remains dedicated to protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens everywhere. NRA-ILA will examine this decision in the days to come and will decide the best method in which to pursue that goal.”
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