Just a few hours after Florida Governor Rick Scott signed legislation into law prohibiting the sale of certain firearms to individuals under 21 years of age, the National Rifle Association filled a federal lawsuit.
NRA lawyers are seeking to have the new law blocked by a federal judge, claiming it violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. constitution. Under the Second Amendment, citizens have the right to bear arms while the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees all American citizens equal protection under the law.
The new law raises the age limit to purchase “military-style” semiautomatic weapon from the previous 18 years to 21 years. NRA lawyers argue that everyone over the age of 18 is an adult and has a right to exercise their fundamental constitutional rights. They argue that the law is particularly offensive to women under 21 years, who would be disproportionately impaired in defending themselves with a firearm.
The lawyers went on to claim, as evidenced by statistics, that this group of women are less likely to engage in violent crime than other older members of the public who are unaffected by the raise in age limit. They also pointed out that men between the ages of 21 and 24 account for more violent crimes when compared to men between ages 18 and 21.
The new legislation does not just raise the age limit, but also imposes a three-day waiting period after purchase of most firearms. Previously, the waiting period only applied after the purchase of handguns. The law also bans bump stocks, devices used to amplify firing rates for semi-automatic rifles.
Portions of the new law do take some steps that can actually deter gun violence. For example, it creates a “guardian” program — where teachers and other school employees can carry hand guns as long as they are authorized. Under the new law, the police can petition in court a risk protection order. This would allow authorities to restrict individuals who are considered a danger not only to themselves but others to own firearms. While most of the student activists pushing for stronger gun control measures agreed that the new legislation is not exactly what they wanted, they say it is a baby step. However, many Second Amendment enthusiasts see it as an affront to their constitutional liberties.
According to NRA spokesman Chris Cox, the new legislation punishes thousands of law abiding gun owner’s for the criminal acts of an individual that is deranged. He further added that stopping a responsible and law-abiding citizen aged 20 from purchasing a tool for self-defense does not stop a deranged criminal from commit a crime. According to Cox, solutions to keep guns off the hands of people deemed a danger to themselves and others have to be sought but at the same time the rights of law abiding citizens should not be infringed.
~ Firearm Daily