For years now, legal adults under the age of 21 haven’t been able to buy a handgun. While that’s a problem, it wasn’t an overly pressing one in a lot of ways. After all, those same adults could buy pretty much any longarm they wanted. Shotguns, AR-15s, hunting rifles, whatever was still available to them. For many, that was good enough for the time being.
But then Parkland happened. A 19-year-old (alleged) psychopath walked into his former high school and started shooting up the place. Since he used a long gun in the deed, people started freaking out. Nevermind the millions of law-abiding gun owners under the age of 21 who did absolutely nothing wrong, this one guy did something and it was time to eliminate the Second Amendment rights of countless young Americans.
Surprisingly, Florida was acted swiftly and stupidly to do just that.
Needless to say, that sparked a lawsuit. Now, that lawsuit has cleared a major hurdle.
A federal judge has refused to dismiss the National Rifle Association’s challenge to a 2018 state law that blocked people under age 21 from buying guns.
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office argued that Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker should dismiss the case, which challenges a law that the Legislature and then-Gov. Rick Scott approved after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
But Walker, in an eight-page decision Friday, denied the state’s request to dismiss the case, which is scheduled to go to trial in January. Walker made clear that he was not ruling on the NRA’s underlying arguments that the law violates constitutional Second Amendment and equal-protection rights — only that the case should be allowed to move forward.
“It is important to keep in mind the narrow issue before the court at this stage of the proceedings. This court is not asked to, and does not, decide whether (the law) is constitutional. Rather, the question is whether plaintiffs’ complaint contains ‘enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face,’” he wrote, quote a legal precedent.
In other words, the judge isn’t saying the NRA is right, only that the case can proceed. That wasn’t the issue before him, though, which is fine. The NRA and their attorneys can make that case in court now thanks to this ruling.
Frankly, I don’t think they’ll have much of an issue. After all, the state’s case”
In a Jan. 21 motion to dismiss the case, attorneys in Moody’s office argued that the measure “follows a long tradition of laws conditioning the purchase of firearms on the purchaser’s having obtained the traditional age of majority — 21 years of age.” Also, the motion said that while the law prevents people ages 18 to 20 from buying guns, it doesn’t prevent them from having guns that, for example, they received as gifts.
Except, it kind of does.
Moody is arguing that in order for these lawful adults to exercise their Second Amendment rights, someone else has to act to essentially grant them the ability. That’s not really how that works. Not only is it an infringement on their rights, it’s practically begging for these people to say screw it and get people to buy for them. Can you say “straw buy?”
That’s not what we need and, I hope, the NRA’s attorneys can make a convincing case in court.
At least now they’ll get the chance.