Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Florida Alert! Federal Judge Refuses to Dismiss NRA Challenge to Florida Gun Law

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

DATE:  May 6, 2020
TO:      USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM:  Marion P. Hammer
  USF Executive Director
  NRA Past President

After two years of stalling by the Florida Solicitor General’s Office, it looks like we will finally get our day in court.  Having run out of preliminary, technical motions, the State will finally have to justify its continuing violation of the constitutional rights of law-abiding adults age 18-20. Hopefully the courts will not allow anti-gun politics to further delay this case. 

Permission to reprint has been granted 

JUDGE CLEARS WAY FOR CHALLENGE TO GUN LAW 

May 4, 2020

Jim Saunders 

TALLAHASSEE --- A federal judge has refused to dismiss the National Rifle Association’s challenge to a 2018 state law that blocked people under age 21 from buying guns. 

Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office argued that Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker should dismiss the case, which challenges a law that the Legislature and then-Gov. Rick Scott approved after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. 

But Walker, in an eight-page decision Friday, denied the state’s request to dismiss the case, which is scheduled to go to trial in January. Walker made clear that he was not ruling on the NRA’s underlying arguments that the law violates constitutional 2nd Amendment and equal-protection rights --- only that the case should be allowed to move forward. 

“It is important to keep in mind the narrow issue before the court at this stage of the proceedings. This court is not asked to, and does not, decide whether (the law) is constitutional. Rather, the question is whether plaintiffs’ complaint contains ‘enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face,’” he wrote, quote a legal precedent. 

The law, which the Legislature rushed to pass after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre, says that people under age 21 cannot buy firearms, including rifles and shotguns. A federal law already banned licensed firearms dealers from selling handguns to people under 21, and the state law broadened that to also prevent private sales of handguns to people under 21, according to court documents. 

“Consequently, 18-to-20-year-old adult citizens in Florida are now prohibited from purchasing any firearm from any source,” Walker wrote. 

In a Jan. 21 motion to dismiss the case, attorneys in Moody’s office argued that the measure “follows a long tradition of laws conditioning the purchase of firearms on the purchaser’s having obtained the traditional age of majority --- 21 years of age.” Also, the motion said that while the law prevents people ages 18 to 20 from buying guns, it doesn’t prevent them from having guns that, for example, they received as gifts. 

“Florida’s age qualification is reasonably calculated to advance the state’s interest because it applies only to the purchase of firearms,” the motion said. “Any law-abiding person over the age of 18 may gift, loan, or allow the use of a firearm to an otherwise qualified person over the age of 18, who may in turn keep and use that firearm for any lawful purpose, including home defense, hunting, sport and practice shooting. The sale-gift distinction is aimed at a uniquely dangerous problem --- the purchase of firearms by 18-to-20-year-olds absent the judgment of a parent, guardian, or other law-abiding adult that the individual is prepared for the responsibility of gun ownership.” 

But in a memorandum filed April 17 opposing the motion to dismiss, NRA attorneys described the law as “draconian” and said it infringes on the constitutional rights of people ages 18 to 20 to keep and bear arms. Also, NRA attorneys contended that the law is not the “least restrictive alternative to achieve a compelling government interest.” 

“The ban prevents the ability of all 18-to–20-year-olds to purchase firearms to exercise their Second Amendment rights --- even for self-defense in the home,” the NRA memorandum said. “If the compelling interest is limiting gun violence on school campuses, the ban is not the least restrictive means because the ban encompasses all 18-to-20-year-old adult Floridians, including those who no longer have any connection to school campuses. Nor have defendants demonstrated the unavailability of less restrictive alternatives.” 

Former Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz was 19 at the time he was charged with using a legally purchased semi-automatic rifle to kill 17 students and faculty members at the school. Cruz continues to await trial. 

The NRA filed the lawsuit immediately after the law was passed in 2018, but the case has moved slowly, at least in part because of a dispute about an NRA attempt to allow two opponents of the law to participate in the case anonymously --- an idea that ultimately was dropped, with a named plaintiff, Radford Fant, joining the case. 

While Walker denied the state’s request to dismiss the lawsuit Friday, he agreed to a request to dismiss Moody as a defendant. Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen remains a defendant.

 

 

 

 

 

IN THIS ARTICLE
Florida Second Amendment
TRENDING NOW
Prohibitionists Seek to Weaponize Yet Another Federal Agency to Target Guns

News  

Monday, February 6, 2023

Prohibitionists Seek to Weaponize Yet Another Federal Agency to Target Guns

Ambitious gun control advocates have long sought a “whole of government approach” to stamping out the right to keep and bear arms. This involves weaponizing not just the ATF and FBI against gun owners and ...

Updates to ATF Final Rule on Stabilizing Braces

News  

Monday, January 30, 2023

Updates to ATF Final Rule on Stabilizing Braces

On Monday, January 30, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) published the final Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces” rule for public inspection in the federal register.

ATF Posts “Final” Rule on Stabilizing Braces

News  

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

ATF Posts “Final” Rule on Stabilizing Braces

On Friday, January, 13, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) posted the “final” Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces” rule to its website.

Biden-Appointed Judge Issues PI against New Jersey Anti-Gun “Public Nuisance” Law

News  

Monday, February 6, 2023

Biden-Appointed Judge Issues PI against New Jersey Anti-Gun “Public Nuisance” Law

New Jersey’s losing streak trying to defend its recent gun control laws in court continued last Tuesday when a federal judge – appointed by Joe Biden, no less – issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of a ...

Florida: Constitutional Carry Introduced

Monday, January 30, 2023

Florida: Constitutional Carry Introduced

Today, Representative Chuck Brannan (R-10) filed House Bill 543, the NRA-backed constitutional carry bill. The Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law & Government Operations Subcommittee will hear it on February 7th from 4-6PM. Florida is currently in ...

Anti-Gun Group Wants California to Continue as Petri Dish for Failed Anti-Gun Policies

News  

Monday, February 6, 2023

Anti-Gun Group Wants California to Continue as Petri Dish for Failed Anti-Gun Policies

In a move that could have been predicted by anyone with a pulse, anti-gun extremists are calling for more anti-gun policies to be implemented in arguably the most anti-gun state in the nation: California.

Washington: Hearing Rescheduled & Updates on Other Anti-Gun Bills

Friday, February 3, 2023

Washington: Hearing Rescheduled & Updates on Other Anti-Gun Bills

On February 9th, the Senate Law and Justice Committee will hold a public hearing for Senate Bill 5232, the companion to House Bill 1144, which imposes a firearm permit requirement, a 10-day waiting period scheme, and allows indefinite ...

New Mexico: Radical Gun Restrictions on Deck in Committee Next Week: Magazine Limits, Waiting Periods, Semi-Auto, Suppressor & NFA Bans

Friday, February 3, 2023

New Mexico: Radical Gun Restrictions on Deck in Committee Next Week: Magazine Limits, Waiting Periods, Semi-Auto, Suppressor & NFA Bans

On Monday, February 6, the New Mexico Senate Health & Public Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 171 by Sen. Bill Soules (D-Las Cruces), legislation that attempts to supersede federal law and make it a ...

Minnesota: Gun Control Bills Committee Hearing on Friday!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Minnesota: Gun Control Bills Committee Hearing on Friday!

Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. the Public Safety Finance and Policy committee will meet in Capitol Room 120 to vote on numerous gun control bills. Please contact the committee members today asking them to oppose the "red ...

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Invalidates ATF Bump-Stock Rule—Holds that Congress, Not ATF, Declares What the Law Is.

News  

Monday, January 9, 2023

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Invalidates ATF Bump-Stock Rule—Holds that Congress, Not ATF, Declares What the Law Is.

On Friday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, invalidated the ATF’s Rule classifying bump stocks as machine guns under the Administrative Procedure Act.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.