Pro-Gun Florida Finds Anti-Gun Allies

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

In the wake of the Parkland massacre, the normally pro-gun state of Florida passed a number of laws that were…well, not pro-gun.

Among those measures was a particularly controversial law that bans long gun sales to anyone under the age of 21.

Now, this might not be that big of a deal if federal law didn’t preclude handgun sales to those under 21 already. As a result, someone under the age of 21 isn’t legally able to purchase a firearm for themselves.

Needless to say, pro-Second Amendment groups took issue with it and filed lawsuits.

Now, the supposedly pro-gun state of Florida is getting help from the people who normally sue them.

Groups seeking stricter gun-control laws frequently have clashed with Republican leaders in Florida, a testing ground for National Rifle Association-backed legislation.

But gun-control organizations — and 16 states — are joining forces with the “Gunshine State” to defend a Florida law that raised the minimum age from 18 to 21 to purchase rifles and other “long guns.”

The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the organization known as Brady, March for Our Lives Action Fund and other groups seeking stricter gun-control measures on Monday filed a friend-of-the-court brief backing the state in the appeal. The group Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and 16 states also filed briefs supporting the law.

The brief filed by Giffords and other groups pointed to research that they said reflected the Republican-dominated Legislature’s “well-founded, data-driven, and effective solution to the grave problem of gun violence, and thus substantially relates to an important state objective.”

Research shows that “18-to-20-year-olds’ brains are still developing, that they are at higher risk of using firearms to commit crime and attempt suicide, and that they are disproportionately likely to be victims of firearm-related violence,” the organizations wrote in the 52-page brief.

Of course, Giffords doesn’t advocate restricting any other actions of people in this age group despite the issues that might arise from this still-developing brain.

It should also be noted that just because they’re at a higher risk than others, it doesn’t mean they’re at a high risk. The potential for an 18-20-year-old to carry out a violent crime is still remarkably low overall.

In other words, Giffords entire argument is that a merely increased risk of something justifies restricting the rights for everyone in that demographic. Imagine if they said that about an ethnic group, for example. Holy crap, they’d be eviscerated by the media.

Regardless, Florida is getting help from the very groups that routinely seek to undermine anything pro-gun Florida tries to do.

It just goes to show you that all gun politics is situational. I’ll support a pro-gun law out of California or New Jersey, so it stands to reason these groups would support an anti-Second Amendment law out of Florida.

However, some of those Florida lawmakers need to look at this and consider whether these are the allies they really want right now. When the legislature is back in session, it might be time to render the issue null and void by simply repealing this idiotic law.

Or we can let it get to the Supreme Court where it will get trounced.

Either way works for me.

Nov 26, 2021 10:30 AM ET