Right now, things are kind of insane in the gun-rights world. We have presidential candidates lining up and admitting that they are, indeed, coming for our guns. We’ve got a Republican president who appears inclined to support at least some gun control measures and is expected to announce such a thing later this week.
It’s a crazy world.
In fact, it’s so crazy a Florida Republican is proposing restricting AR-15 and similar weapons to just people over the age of 25.
Republican state Sen. David Simmons wants new restrictions on anyone under age 25 from buying or owning an assault weapon in Florida, a stance welcomed by Democrats but something the state GOP chair said had “zero chance” of passing.
Simmons, R-Sanford, who chairs the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, announced his proposal Wednesday at an Orange County League of Women Voters event in Orlando.
He told the audience he would introduce the measure for the next legislative session that begins in January, which will be Simmons’ last as a term-limited senator.
The proposal as drafted would bar some individuals under age 25 from purchasing, possessing or selling assault weapons, which Simmons defined as firearms with a fixed or detachable magazine capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
Yet, the bill includes wide-ranging exceptions.
It would allow anyone between 21 and 25 to buy an assault weapon if they successfully complete a hunter safety course and get a hunter safety certification card, or are already licensed to carry a concealed weapon. A bill passed after the Parkland massacre prevents anyone under age 21 from buying any gun.
I don’t care if the exceptions make it so it only applies to people who lack chromosomes, this is beyond stupid.
For one thing, people can buy handguns at 21, something this bill recognizes at least in part because there’s an exception for people with a concealed carry permit. However, just because you’re old enough to own a handgun doesn’t automatically mean someone is interested in carrying a gun for whatever reason.
Yet handguns account for a vastly larger percentage of firearm-related homicides each year than so-called assault rifles. Why is there no effort to restrict their access to those?
The answer is simple. No one is interested in handguns right now. That, of course, is subject to change. Should that happen, then this has already laid the groundwork for such a rise in the age limit.
Sorry, but that’s how politics works.
It’s also important to remember that gun control is like a virus. It starts in one place but then spreads out all over the country, ready to infect other states while also mutating to become far more virulent. A largely ineffective by design bill in Florida could be positively draconian by the time it gets to California and we all know it.
Simmons has screwed the pooch here.
If there’s a saving grace, it’s that this bill really isn’t likely to become anything more than a proposal. It’ll be filed and snag a few cosponsors, but it won’t pass. Florida has had enough of that crap, and that’s for the best.
What’s worrying is that Republican lawmakers are starting to think proposals like this are a good idea. That needs to be discouraged come voting time.