National Rifle Association has filed a federal lawsuit over Florida legislation that raises the age to buy guns to 21.
The lawsuit argues that the legislation is a violation of the Second Amendment. "The Second Amendment 'guarantee[s] the individual right to possess and carry' firearms, and 'elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home," the lawsuit states.
It goes on to state the by the age of 18, law-abiding citizens are considered adults and are eligible to serve in the military, yet this new law would prohibit people in that age group from lawfully purchasing a firearm of any kind.
"This blanket ban violates the fundamental rights of thousands of responsible, law-abiding Florida citizens and is thus invalid under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments," the lawsuit states.
According to the NRA, thousands of its members reside in Florida, and many of which are law-abiding adult citizens between the age of 18 and 21 who desire to purchase handguns, longguns, or both for self-defense and other lawful purposes.
Additionally, the lawsuit cites a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees to all citizens the right to equal protection of the laws.
The lawsuit comes after Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act into law on Friday. The act was presented following a school shooting in Parkland, Florida where 17 people lost their lives at the hand of a 19-year-old gunman.
Following the signing, the NRA released the following statement:
"The National Rifle Association expressed disappointment regarding the gun-control provisions contained in a bill that was signed into law today in Florida. The new law strips law-abiding adults aged 18-20 of their Second Amendment right to self-protection and imposes unnecessary delays on all firearm purchases.
“This bill punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “Securing our schools and protecting the constitutional rights of Americans are not mutually exclusive. Instead of looking to the root cause of this premeditated violence, the gun control provisions in this law wrongly blame millions of Floridians who safely and responsibly exercise their right to self-defense.”
The National Rifle Association has always supported measures to increase school security, fix our broken mental health system and keep firearms out of the hands of those with a dangerous mental illness. However, several provisions contained in SB 7026 will do nothing to increase public safety and will only impact law-abiding citizens. Preventing a responsible 20-year-old from purchasing the best tool for self-defense will not stop a deranged criminal intent on committing a crime. Imposing a 3-day wait period on rifle and shotgun purchases would not have stopped any of the high-profile mass shootings in recent years.
“The deranged murderer in Parkland, Florida gave repeated warning signs that were ignored by federal and state officials. If we want to prevent future atrocities, we must look for solutions that keep guns out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves or others, while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans.”