NRA Urges Court To Reject Law Barring Under 21 From Buying Long Guns

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The NRA may not be having the best of times right now. After all, they’re fending off some very serious threats to their very existence.

I also know that a lot of people in the gun community are less than thrilled with the NRA, and often for some good reasons. Understand, I get it.

But, we also have to give the NRA credit. They’re still fighting the good fight.

This time, they’re taking a shot at a Florida law that limits long gun purchases to those age 21 and up.

Pointing to what it described as the “irrationality” of the ban, the National Rifle Association has urged a federal appeals court to reject a 2018 Florida law that prevents people under age 21 from buying guns.

NRA attorneys last week filed a 61-page brief arguing that the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals should find that the law, passed after the mass shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, violates Second Amendment and equal-protection rights.

The brief came after Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in June upheld the law. NRA attorneys wrote that the ban “infringes all young adults’ right to purchase any firearm, even for self-defense in the home” and contrasted it with other laws related to people under 21.

“State law demonstrates the irrationality of the ban,” the brief said. “Florida law allows young adults — those it categorically deems unlawful and irresponsible (in the gun law) — to serve in the military and in law enforcement. It also allows young adults to serve on a jury, enter into contracts, sue and be sued, get married, and own property. Florida at once deems young adults to be law-abiding and responsible enough to enforce the law but not law-abiding and responsible enough to be trusted to follow it.”

Further, it basically tells law-abiding citizens age 18- to 20-years-old that they’re not really citizens. Oh, sure, they can do most of the things that real citizens do, but they’re not trusted enough to buy a firearm, so they have to wait for that one.

Let’s keep in mind that these same second-class citizens can buy a car, which accounts for far more deaths annually than firearms do. They’re trusted with those without a moment’s hesitation, but firearms? No, that’s just going too far.

This law isn’t right and it needs to be rejected. These law-abiding young adults shouldn’t be at the mercy of the criminals simply because of their age.

Proponents of the law argue that people in this age group are far more impulsive than older adults, so that’s why the law matters. Which may actually be true, but I want to see actual data showing how many otherwise law-abiding 18- to 20-year-olds murder people with lawfully owned guns each year.

I suspect that if you look at the actual numbers, there aren’t that many nationwide. That’s because it’s not an issue. While these folks may be more impulsive, they’re not generally going to commit murder because of it. It’s not an issue.

The courts need to recognize that and do what they can to preserve the Second Amendment rights for these younger adults.