Thursday, July 20, 2023

Full Court Review Granted by 11th Circuit for Florida's Gun Purchase Ban Affecting Young Adults


A legal challenge against Florida's statute prohibiting adults aged 18 to 20 from purchasing rifles and shotguns is prepared for a review by the entire 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. On March 9, a panel consisting of three judges from the 11th Circuit Court had previously upheld Florida's ban on gun purchases for those under 21. However, on July 16, the court retracted this verdict, announcing it would reexamine the lawsuit in a full-court review, or en banc, where all court members will engage in a detailed discussion on the statute.

The lawsuit, filed by the National Rifle Association against Bondi, contests a hastily enacted law initiated in the aftermath of a devastating mass shooting incident at a school in Parkland, Florida. Shortly after the implementation of the law, the NRA launched the lawsuit. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which had opposed the law since its initial proposal, has backed this most recent challenge by filing an amicus brief, says Mark Oliva, the managing director of public affairs at NSSF.

In an exclusive conversation with Firearms News, Oliva described the Florida law, which prohibits firearms sales to individuals under 21, as fundamentally defective. "At 18, all Americans are entitled to their civil liberties, which include the right to own and carry weapons, a right endowed by their Creator and not to be taken away by the Florida government," Oliva said.

He mentioned that any regulations that limit the constitutional rights of individuals aged 18 to 20 would likely be deemed unconstitutional, though courts often seem to give less weight to Second Amendment rights. Oliva emphasized, “Denying the rights of free speech, free exercise of religion, or free assembly would not be accepted, yet this law reduced the Second Amendment to a secondary right, which is constitutionally unsound." He added that concerns about excluding a minor's criminal record from background checks, which could prohibit firearm possession, were addressed in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. "This law was incorrect from its inception and only prevents law-abiding adults from fully exercising their rights."

Ever since the law's enactment, the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action has consistently pointed out its flaws. After the law was first reluctantly upheld by a federal judge in 2021, the NRA-ILA declared, "It is undeniable that 18- to 20-year-olds are considered adults by the law and the Constitution. Depriving these younger adults of their rights due to criminal acts is pure political discrimination and contradicts the U.S. Supreme Court's Heller decision."

The case for allowing 18- to 20-year-olds to purchase long guns has been further bolstered by the previous year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which established a fresh benchmark for adjudicating Second Amendment cases. Under the new standard from the Bruen case, the courts now need to establish whether the behavior that the government wants to restrict is covered by the "plain text" of the Second Amendment. If it is, the government must prove that its regulation aligns with the nation's historical tradition of firearm regulation. If it fails to meet this burden, the challenged law cannot be upheld. The ban on adults aged 18 to 20 likely violates both elements of this standard. The date for the oral arguments in the case has not yet been scheduled.

Gun Coyote - The Gun Deals Search Engine

No comments:

Post a Comment