A federal appeals court will rehear arguments challenging Florida’s age limits on purchasing a rifle or long gun.
The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals out of Atlanta agreed to rehear arguments after the National Rifle Association (NRA) challenged the constitutionality of the law, which bans someone under the age of 21 from buying a rifle.
In 2018, just a few months after then 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz used an AR-15 to kill 17 students and staffers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the Republican dominated state legislature raised the age limits on purchasing a rifle.
“Either you’re an adult at 18 or you’re not,” said Luis Valdez, the state Director of Gun Owners of America. “You have the ability to vote at 18. You have the ability to sign contracts at 18. You have the ability to get married at 18. But you don’t have the ability to defend yourself at 18?”
Federal law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from buying a pistol or handgun.
Florida is one of 10 states that bans most people under 21 from buying a rifle.
In April, the state house passed a law that would reverse the state’s ban on 18- to 20-year-olds from buying rifles.
Democratic Rep. Christine Hunschofsky, who was the mayor of Parkland at the time of the mass shooting, pleaded with her colleagues to keep the age restrictions in place.
“This law has stood the test of time because we have not had another school shooting in the state of Florida,” Hunschofsky said.
The appeals court has not yet set a date for the hearing.