The National Rifle Association (NRA) is suing the state of Florida after Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 7026 into law on Friday.
Called “The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act,” the bill is the first piece of gun control legislation after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the shooting which the bill is named after.
The provisions of Senate Bill 7026 include address several issues revolving around gun control, but the NRA suit focuses on the part of the bill that raises the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21.
According to the lawsuit, the NRA finds that the bill punishes law-abiding citizens and is unconstitutional under the second and fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution.
“This bill punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual,” said Chris W. Cox, the executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), the institute that manages the NRA’s political action committee. “Securing our schools and protecting the constitutional rights of Americans are not mutually exclusive.”
A press statement released by the NRA-ILA also argues that Senate Bill 7026 is, “particularly offensive with respect to young women,” due to the fact that women between the ages of 18 to 21 are less likely to participate in violent crimes than “older members of the general population who are unaffected by the ban.”
Age restrictions are an affront to the Second Amendment; it destroys the right of law-abiding adults between the ages of 18 and 21 to keep and bear arms. #DefendTheSecond #2A #NRA https://t.co/rUJDJwKUWX
— NRA (@NRA) March 12, 2018
The bill did more than increase the age limit for purchasing guns in Florida. It also created a waiting period in which prospective gun buyers must wait three days, or until a background check is completed, whichever is longer. Bump stocks, devices that can be attached to rifles to enable them to fire faster, are banned under the bill.
In addition to the ban, the bill includes more funding for school security and expanded mental health services and regulations. However, the most controversial provision of the bill allows superintendents and sheriffs to arm school personnel.
While Senate Bill 7026 is a major victory for the new activists of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the final bill left out many of the biggest provisions the students and their supporters had sought.
The bill does not ban assault weapons, which was one of the top demands of the Parkland students, nor does it suspend the sale of AR-15 rifles, which was the weapon of choice for the Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz.
There have been several advances in gun control since the February 14 massacre. For Florida, this is the first successful gun control measure in over 20 years.
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