The National Rifle Association has filed a federal lawsuit over gun control legislation Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed, saying it violates the Second Amendment by raising the age to buy guns from 18 to 21.
The lawsuit came just hours after Gov. Scott, a Republican, signed the compromise bill Friday afternoon.
Lawyers for the NRA want a federal judge to block the new age restriction from taking effect.
The new legislation raises the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21, extends a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases to include long guns and bans bump stocks that allow guns to mimic fully automatic fire. It also creates a so-called "guardian" program that enables teachers and other school employees to carry handguns.
The new measures come in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, that killed 17 people.
Rifle sales to people under 21 at both the Gun Range and Training Center in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Shooting Center in Lake Worth are just a fraction of the business they do.
“Very small,” Johnpaul Parkerson, manager at Palm Beach Shooting Center said. “Most people under 21 don’t even know they can buy a rifle.”
Now, if someone under 21 wanted to buy one for hunting or protection, they can’t. Like teens who have grown up with hunting rifles.
“By 18 they’re actually very responsible hunters and they live off that land. That will hurt those individuals,” said Alex Shkop, owner of Guns and Range Training Center.
Or young single mothers.
“Some of them are under 21. We just took an ability from them to defend their home and household completely,” Shkop said.
“Laws that go into effect only affect law abiding citizens. You’re taking the ability of a girl in college 18-20 can no longer buy a rifle to protect herself if need be,” Parkerson said.
Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch told me today, the law is a great first step.
“So (the law) is important but the fight is going to continue both in Tallahassee and in Washington,” he said.
“It’s a terrible first step for the fact that it’s adding to stuff that (doesn’t need) to be done,” Parkerson said.
“If people think that taking guns away will solve the murder issue, it will not,” Shkop said.
The only provision in the new law that doesn’t take effect right away is the bump stock ban, which will happen in October.