Earlier this month, in response to the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, the Florida state legislature passed a sweeping gun reform bill which, among other things, bans bump stocks and raises the legal age to buy a rifle to 21. Governor Rick Scott signed the bill into law shortly after. But now a handful of gun owners are suing the state as a result.
The plaintiffs, of which there are five, are claiming that the ban on bump stocks is an unconstitutional taking of personal property. Therefore, they argue, the estimated tens of thousands of Floridians who currently own bump stocks or other rapid-fire devices should receive “full compensation.”
In the lawsuit, which was filed last week in Leon County Circuit Court, the plaintiff’s lawyers cite the Florida Constitution which declares that the state cannot confiscate private property “except for a public person and with full compensation therefore paid to each owner.”
The lawsuit also mentions the 2010 ATF directive declaring bump-stocks “firearm parts.”
Despite the new legal challenge, Sen. Bill Galvano, a Republican and lawyer who sponsored the bill, says he stands by the ban.
“I have made a cursory review of the suit and continue to support the ban,” he told the News Service of Florida. “At the end of the day, these devices turn semi-automatic rifles into machine guns. A policy decision consistent with the authority of the state has been made that this is not acceptable.”
This is the second lawsuit being brought against the state since the law’s passage. The first was brought forth by the NRA in response to the state’s change in the legal age to purchase a rifle form 18 to 21. According to the News Service of Florida, the organization may also challenge the bump stock ban after it goes into effect on October 1st.