Florida bill would correct post-Parkland mistake

Florida bill would correct post-Parkland mistake
AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

The shooting at a Parkland high school shook the entire state of Florida. In the aftermath of that deadly event, lawmakers went on a rampage of their own. They passed a number of laws that, frankly, the state never would have considered beforehand.


One of those was a bill that restricted the sale of long guns to only those over the age of 21.

Now, Floridians between the ages of 18 and 20 are left defenseless in the face of the rampant violent crime we’ve seen over the last few years throughout the nation.

These people are, in essence, second-class citizens who don’t get the totality of their rights. They can vote, enlist in the military, buy a house, drive and own a car, and a host of other things, but they can’t buy a gun.

A new bill, however, seeks to change that.

A group just introduced the Minimum Age for Firearm Purchase or Transfer Act, which would lower the age to purchase a firearm in Florida back down to 18. The bill is being pushed by state Representatives Bobby Payne, Tyler Sirois, Randy Fine, Ralph Massullo, and Bob Rommel.

This push deserves widespread support. Depriving 18, 19, and 20-year-old adults of their constitutional right to self-defense was always an immoral restriction that did not actually make us any safer.

Think about it like this. We never would accept laws that say, make the right to free speech only apply to those age 25 and up. We would never accept legislation allowing police to unreasonably search and seize from those under 23. The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed that the Second Amendment establishes an individual constitutional right to keep and bear arms—so how the heck can that right possibly be taken away from an entire demographic of legal adults simply based on their age?

And the idea that such a restriction would stop mass shootings has always been a complete farce.



That next to the last paragraph I quoted frames this perfectly, in my opinion. The writer, my friend Brad Polumbo, nails it there.

We would never tolerate the restricting of literally any other right espoused in the Constitution to those above a certain arbitrary age, so why the right to own a firearm?

Florida made a mistake in the wake of Parkland. I get it. When people get emotional, they do things they may later come to regret. We argue with our spouses and say things we didn’t necessarily mean, too.

Luckily, Florida can fix this mistake. They can repeal this law and allow these adults to enjoy the full expression of their right to keep and bear arms.

“But we restrict drinking to those over the age of 21!” someone might try and fire back.

Bold of them to assume I support that particular rule, though, because I don’t and find it to be an absolutely stupid argument to make. Just as I think someone sent to die for our nation should be free to get drunk the night before, I think those who are old enough to vote should have the means to overturn tyranny should that result instead.

Florida needs to repeal the law and they need to do it swiftly.

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