The National Rifle Association is taking aim at a controversial new Florida gun law just hours after it was passed and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott, Fox News reported.
On Friday, Scott — a GOP governor widely expected to run against Democrat Bill Nelson for one of Florida’s Senate seats this fall — went against the NRA and its supporters by signing the bill that raised the age to buy rifles from 18 to 21, banned bump stocks and extended a three-day waiting period on handguns to also cover long guns.
The NRA contended that Florida’s measures violates the Second Amendment.
The National Rifle Association reacted Friday with a federal lawsuit after Florida lawmakers approved gun legislation that would raise the age to buy guns.
“Florida’s ban is an affront to the Second Amendment, as it totally eviscerates the right of law-abiding adults between the ages of 18 and 21 to keep and bear arms,” a Friday statement from the NRA’s Institute for Legal Action read.
“The ban is particularly offensive with respect to young women, as women between the ages of 18 and 21 are much less likely to engage in violent crime than older members of the general population who are unaffected by the ban.
“Despite this fact, the State of Florida has enacted a sweeping law banning all young adults between the ages of 18 and 21 from purchasing any firearm from any source. Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, stated, ‘Swift action is needed to prevent young adults in Florida from being treated as second-class citizens when it comes to the right to keep and bear arms.'”
The statement also said that the NRA-ILA’s Chris Cox said he’s “confident that the courts will vindicate our view that Florida’s ban is a blatant violation of the Second Amendment.”
The NRA filed a lawsuit challenging Florida’s newly-enacted ban on the purchase of firearms by adults between the ages of 18-21. It is an affront to #2A, as it totally eviscerates the #2A rights of law-abiding adults to keep and bear arms #DefendTheSecond https://t.co/1gJjVi0t7r
— NRA (@NRA) March 10, 2018
In a separate statement, Cox said that the law “punished punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual.”
The case, National Rifle Association of America, Inc. v. Bondi, was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.
The bill passed Florida’s Senate earlier this week by a margin of 20-18 and the House by a margin of 67-50, although the NRA-ILA contends that “Senate leadership strong-armed enough Senators to vote in favor of the bill, despite hearing from gun owners across Florida that passing gun control would do nothing to secure our schools or fix our broken mental health system.”
In the lawsuit, filed against Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, the NRA contends that “(a)t 18 years of age, law-abiding citizens in this country are considered adults for almost all purposes and certainly for the purposes of the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights. At 18, citizens are eligible to serve in the military — to fight and die by arms for the country.
“Indeed, male citizens in this age-group are designated members of the militia by federal statute, 10 U.S.C. §246(a), and may be conscripted to bear arms on behalf of their country, 50 U.S.C.§ 3803(a). Yet, newly-enacted Section 790.065(13) of Florida’s criminal code prohibits law abiding adults in this age group from lawfully purchasing a firearm of any kind.”
The chances of the lawsuit succeeding aren’t necessarily determinable at this point. While courts have found that it is constitutional to put certain limits on gun ownership under the Second Amendment, Heller v. D.C. found that the right to bear arms could not be entirely taken away from law-abiding citizens.
The most curious aspect of the lawsuit will likely involve whether or not age limits on firearm ownership for law-abiding adults are constitutional. As this case works its way through the system, we’ll get a much clearer idea of whether such age limits are constitutional — and whether more states might be adopting them.
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