Now In Florida You Only Have To Be 18 To Do This...

By Alan Hume | Monday, 04 March 2024 05:15 AM
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In a significant move, the Florida House of Representatives, under Republican control, approved a bill on Friday that proposes to reduce the minimum age for purchasing a firearm from 21 to 18.

The bill, HB 1223, also known as "Minimum Age for Firearm Purchase or Transfer," was passed with a 76-35 majority. The legislation, initially sponsored by Republican Representatives Bobby Payne and Tyler Sirois, will now proceed to the state Senate for further deliberation.

The bill text states, "An act relating to minimum age for firearm purchase or transfer; amending s. 790.065, F.S.; reducing the minimum age at which a person may purchase a firearm and the age of purchasers to which specified licensees are prohibited from selling or transferring a firearm; 6 repealing an exception; providing an effective date." If the bill is approved, it will come into effect on July 1.

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This legislation also seeks to overturn a section of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, enacted in 2018 following the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The incident, which resulted in 17 fatalities and 17 injuries, was one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. The perpetrator, former student Nikolas Cruz, who used an assault rifle to carry out the attack across three floors of the school building, pleaded guilty in 2021 and received a life sentence.

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Earlier this year, another bill was introduced in the House aiming to impose stricter penalties on minors found in possession of firearms. House Bill 1181, also known as the Juvenile Justice Bill, proposes to upgrade a minor's first illegal possession of a gun from a first-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. This would also extend the duration a minor would spend in a juvenile detention facility. HB 1181 is currently under review in the state Senate.

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The debate surrounding firearms reached the U.S. Supreme Court this week, with the Justices divided over the federal government's authority to ban bump stocks. These devices enhance the firepower of automatic weapons. The case, Garland v. Cargill, questions whether a "bump stock" device qualifies as a "machine gun" under federal law because it is designed and intended for use in converting a rifle into a weapon that fires "automatically more than one shot ... by a single function of the trigger."

Following a mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017, which resulted in 60 deaths and 500 injuries, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) issued an interpretive rule concluding that "bump stocks" are machine guns.

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