The NRA Just Sued Florida for Raising the Minimum Age to Purchase a Gun

They argue that the new law is unfair to women under 21.

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference.Ron Sachs/CNP via ZUMA Wire

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

It only took a few hours for the NRA to sue Florida officials after Gov. Rick Scott signed a law that raised the minimum age for gun purchases.

On Friday, lawyers for the NRA requested an injunction in federal court to stop Florida officials from enforcing the new policy that makes it illegal for those under 21 to purchase firearms, arguing in a complaint that the law is unconstitutional and imposes “a significant, unequal, and impermissible burden on the right to keep and bear arms of a class of millions of law-abiding 18-to-20-year-old adult citizens.” 

The NRA argues that the restriction would put a particular burden on NRA members who are women under 21 because they are less likely to engage in violent crime than older men who can legally purchase firearms. The complaint argues that women “pose a relatively slight risk of perpetrating a school shooting such as the one that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, or, for that matter, a violent crime of any kind.” 

After Scott signed the legislation, Chris Cov, executive director for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, criticized the bill for punishing “law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual.” 

The NRA’s Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer opposed the bill as it made its way through the legislature, and she alerted members to call Republican representatives to urge them to vote against it. The legislation also creates a three-day wait period for gun purchases, directs $400 toward mental health services and school safety, and creates an opt-in “guardian program” that lets school personnel who have completed a training program to carry firearms on school grounds.

Earlier this week, Tyler Watson, a 20-year-old man from Oregon, sued Wal-Mart and Dick’s Sporting Goods separately for age discrimination after the two retailers independently raised the age limit for gun purchases to 21 years old in response to the Parkland shooting. 

Read the complaint below. 

 



THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate