On March 9, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a gun control bill into law in response to the recent shootings that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month.
As reported on by The New York Times, the bill establishes the following gun control measures:
- Raises the minimum age for all gun purchases from 18 to 21, and punishes violators of this requirement with possible imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both
- Creates a waiting period for prospective gun buyers of either three days or the time it takes to complete a background check, depending on which duration is longer (certain exceptions exist for police officers, members of the military, licensed hunters and licensed concealed carriers)
- Bans bump stocks (devices that can be attached to rifles to enable them to fire faster)
- Permits superintendents and sheriffs to arm certain school personnel through a $67 million program involving training (the program would run on a voluntary basis)
- Provides an allocation of funds to make school buildings more secure and to hire more school-based police officers
- Provides an allocation of funds to provide mental health care to students
- Permits the police to temporarily confiscate guns from anyone subject to involuntary psychiatric evaluation under Florida’s Baker Act
- Prohibits gun sales to Floridians who were committed to mental institutions or deemed mentally incompetent by a judge
- Allows police, with judicial approval, to bar a person deemed dangerous from owning guns for up to a year
Hours after the bill was fully passed into law, the National Rifle Association (NRA) filed a lawsuit involving Pam Bondi, the Attorney General of Florida, and Rick Swearingen, the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Through this lawsuit, the NRA is requesting that the two defendants be compelled to refrain from enforcing the ban on “law-abiding citizens under the age of 21 from purchasing firearms of any kind,” and to permit the NRA’s members “to purchase firearms to defend themselves, their families, and their homes.”
The lawsuit’s contention is that the law’s new minimum age requirement is incompatible with the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.
The lawsuit can be read in full at this link.
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