Florida Republicans Push Bill to Lower Rifle Purchasing Age From 21 to 18

Polling has traditionally proven most Floridians help a better age restriction on shopping for rifles and lengthy weapons.

Florida state Home Republicans have handed a invoice that may repeal a gun violence prevention regulation that was enacted 5 years in the past in response to the mass taking pictures at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty in Parkland.

On Friday, the state Home handed House Bill 1543, by a count of 69 to 36. The invoice would decrease the age restrict to purchase rifles or “lengthy” weapons (which incorporates assault rifles) to 18, undoing the 2018 regulation, and now goes to the state Senate. If handed and signed into regulation, the provisions of the invoice would go into impact on July 1 of this 12 months.

Rep. Bobby Payne (R), who launched the invoice, says it “corrects the wrong we did in 2018”. Each Democrat within the chamber, joined by solely three Republicans, voted in opposition to the invoice’s passage.

Federal regulation mandates that, throughout the U.S., handguns can solely be bought by people 21 and older. States can decide, nonetheless, what age an individual should purchase a rifle or “lengthy” gun of their jurisdictions.

Up till 2018, Florida regulation allowed individuals 18 and older to purchase such weapons. Responding to requires stricter gun rules within the wake of the Parkland mass taking pictures, nonetheless, through which a 19-year-old gunman killed 17 people, principally college students, the legislature passed a bill to increase the age limit to 21 in a uncommon bipartisan transfer. The regulation requires somebody to be 21 or older with the intention to purchase rifles, together with essentially the most generally used weapon in mass shootings, AR-15-style rifles.

The invoice now goes to the state Senate for consideration. As of Tuesday night, the bill had not seen much movement in that chamber, and has but to be thought-about or mentioned by a committee. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who ordinarily favors loosening gun laws, has not indicated his view on the invoice.

Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R) has expressed skepticism in regards to the laws, however didn’t outright say she’d attempt to defeat it or opposed it, both.

“I’ll see it when it comes over,” she advised reporters final week.

Critics derided the trouble to undo a regulation that handed with bipartisan help within the wake of one of many worst mass shootings within the U.S. in fashionable historical past.

“You made a promise to the dad and mom and the residents of Florida that you simply had been going to maintain us secure,” Rep. Robin Bartleman, a Democrat who served on the varsity board that manages Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty when the taking pictures occurred, said to her Republican colleagues who had been current for the 2018 vote. “And now, at the moment, you’re taking all of that again. I don’t know the way you are able to do that.”

“Disgrace on @FloridaGOP Home reps,” wrote Prevent Gun Violence Florida on Twitter on Friday. “It is a betrayal of all Floridians, significantly the Marjory Stoneman Douglas neighborhood. What a tragic day for Florida.”

Previous nationwide and statewide polling means that the general public is against H.B. 1543.

In 2018, when the legislature was contemplating elevating the age restrict to purchase all weapons within the state, residents had been supportive of the concept. According to a Florida Atlantic University poll at the time, 77.7 % of Florida residents backed the proposal.

Individuals by and huge additionally help elevating the age to purchase a gun, with a Fox Information ballot revealed final week exhibiting that 81 percent of Americans would favor raising the purchasing age to 21.

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