A federal district court judge in the United States District Court Northern District of Florida upheld a Florida law that prevents young adults, under the age of 21, from purchasing a firearm.
The NRA challenged the constitutionality of the law, which prevented the sale of rifles, shotguns, and other long guns to people ages 18 to 20.
Federal law already bans those under the age of 21 from purchasing a firearm.
Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker explained that “for better or worse,” he was bound by the Eleventh Circuit’s Second Amendment precedent and had to rule the way that he did.
But in doing so, he expressed dismay at the unfortunate balance that this decision will create.
Under the existing Florida law, 18-20-year-olds can legally acquire a firearm with the assistance of parents or other relatives.
This creates a situation where individuals who do not have family members to assist them are unable to exercise their Second Amendment rights at all, according to the NRA.
Walker highlighted this disparity by saying, “Worse still, it is likely that these particular 18-to-20-year-olds are the ones who actually need firearms to defend themselves; they are likely independent, likely to live in dangerous neighborhoods, and likely to have families and children of their own,” he wrote. “Why should the 20-year-old single mother living on her own be unable to obtain a firearm for self-defense when a 20-year-old living with their parents can easily obtain one?”
The judge also questioned the “Second Amendment framework that finds certain persons or activities either protected or entirely unprotected,” and stated that “this Court sees no reason why the Second Amendment, unlike other fundamental rights, should be an all or nothing affair.”
Additionally, Walker stated that if the court “were writing on a ‘blankish’ slate … it would subject the Act to a more searching inquiry.”
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