Florida congressman wants to ban semi-auto sales for adults younger than 25

(AP Photo/AJ Mast, File)

Federal courts around the country have already rejected several state-level laws limiting the sale, possession, or carrying of firearms by adults under the age of 21, but that’s not stopping a freshman congressman from Florida from seeking to block even more law-abiding adults from purchasing or possessing the most commonly-sold firearms in the country


Rep. Jared Moskowitz, whose district includes Parkland and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has introduced legislation that would bar all adults under the age of 25 from purchasing any semi-automatic firearm; not only modern sporting rifles but common handguns as well. The bill is likely going nowhere in the Republican-controlled House, and would almost certainly be struck down by the courts if it were ever to become law, but that’s not stopping the Democrat from taking aim at the Second Amendment rights of young adults.

“Our communities are plagued by gun violence.  What will it take to protect our children? We can’t continue to needlessly endure heartbreak after heartbreak as our public places become targets of violence,” Moskowitz said in a written statement.
“We no longer need moments of silence; we need moments of action. I refuse to think that nothing can get done,” he added.
Moskowitz’s office cited law enforcement officials, researchers and policy experts who report that “individuals aged roughly 15-25 represent the age at the most risk of becoming a mass shooter because of the intense developmental changes and societal pressures that can turn them violent.”
And his office said in a statement on the legislation that, “Overall, boys and young men account for half of all homicides involving guns, or any other weapon, nationwide. Exactly 50% of all killings in 2020, the last year comprehensive data is available, were committed by assailants under 30.”

In a rich bit of irony, Moskowitz is calling his gun ban for young adults the “Protecting the Second Amendment through Responsible Gun Ownership Act” despite its clear infringement on the Second Amendment rights of those younger than 25. Moskowitz may be right that younger adults commit a disproportionate amount of violent offenses, but the vast majority of those who would be subject to the age-based gun ban are law-abiding citizens. Moskowitz is seeking to deprive millions of Americans their fundamental right to keep and bear arms because a small fraction of that age group commits violent crime; punishing the many while excusing away the actions of a few violent offenders because they’re supposedly too young to fully understand what they’re doing.


Of course Moskowitz still wants them to be able to serve in the military, vote, get married, have kids, drink a beer (or toke up, depending on what state we’re talking about). All of the trappings and benefits of adulthood would still be available to them save for their right to keep and bear commonly-owned firearms that are protected by the Second Amendment. This isn’t about raising the age of adulthood. It’s about denying some adults one of their basic civil rights.

By the time I turned 25 I was already married and a step-father to two amazing kids, had started my career in radio, and was getting ready to welcome my first biological child into the world. That little boy, who was born a week after my 26th birthday, is now a responsible 22-year-old whose fully employed, lives on his own, and hasn’t bugged mom or dad for money for over two years now. But as someone who’s just starting out his path in life, he (like his dad at that age) lives in a pretty rough part of town, and has even dealt with the (as yet unsolved) murder of one of his buddies just a few blocks away from where he lived. Being able to protect himself is important to my kid and millions of other young adults, but Moskowitz would jeopardize their own safety and security in order to pass a gun ban that violent criminals and would-be mass murderers would simply ignore with impunity.

Moskowitz’s proposal isn’t just a blatant infringement on the Second Amendment. It’s a downright dangerous piece of legislation that would put many young adults at risk by denying them the ability to purchase the most commonly-used firearms in self-defense. Thankfully, I doubt this terrible idea gets so much as a hearing in a House committee, but if he’s pushing this at the federal level it won’t be long until anti-gun politicians in states like New York and California follow suit, and gun owners and Second Amendment supporters in blue states should be ready to push back when the time comes.


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