Florida’s 21-Year Age Requirement for Buying Guns Upheld in NRA Suit

After the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida raised the minimum age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21. 

The National Rifle Association did not approve. The powerful gun rights lobby group immediately challenged the law. 

A federal appeals court has upheld the law.

But that’s not the end of this legal battle. The ruling may be short-lived. 

Florida Republican lawmakers this week introduced a bill that would lower the minimum age required to buy a firearm in the state from 21 back to 18.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has always opposed the law. And he is set on eliminating it. 

Federal law already imposes a 21-year age requirement for handguns.

Florida passed the law in 2018 with bipartisan support three weeks after one of the state’s deadliest mass shootings in which a 19-year-old gunman killed 14 students and three faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. 

The NRA sued to challenge the Florida law, arguing that it violated the right to keep and bear arms under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment by barring adults from buying any kind of gun.

A unanimous three-judge panel of the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the law was in line with the historical tradition of gun regulation in the United States, meeting a new standard for gun control laws set by the U.S. Supreme Court last year.

It comes as aged-based restrictions are shaping up to become a flashpoint in the legal battles over gun access since the Supreme Court last year laid out a new test for determining a gun restriction’s constitutionality.

Gun control is one of the biggest issues in the U.S. Just this week, mass shootings for this year alone already passed the 100th mark.

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