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

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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. 

 



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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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