Gun Rights Stripped In Florida?

Photo by Tom Def on Unsplash

On Thursday (March 9), the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Florida law barring those under 21 from purchasing firearms, denying the National Rifle Association’s challenge.

The three-judge panel made the unanimous ruling, finding that Florida’s law was in line with the U.S.’s historical gun regulations and met the new standards for gun control laws set by the Supreme Court last year.

The Florida law the NRA, a gun rights lobbying group, was challenging passed through bipartisan support in 2018, following one of the state’s deadliest mass shootings, in which a 19-year-old gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, killing 14 students and three faculty members.

At the time, then-Gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis stated he opposed the legislation.

Recently, two Republican state Lawmakers have introduced a bill to lower the age limit to 18, the age it was prior to the passing of the 2018 bill.

Ashley Moody, Florida’s Attorney General spokesperson, acknowledged that it was the AG’s duty to defend the current law but highlighted that the current legislature would reconsider the legislation.

The legislation was challenged by the NRA shortly after it was passed, arguing that it violated the Second Amendment right for individuals to keep and bear arms.

In 2021, a federal judge denied the challenge, pointing to the age limit being a “longstanding” restriction courts had upheld in the past.

Currently, federal law imposes a 21-year age requirement for handgun ownership.

As the NRA appealed the 2021 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New York state gun law, asserting gun control laws must meet the nation’s historical tradition on gun control laws to be considered constitutional.