In a recent push by the National Rifle Association (NRA) to have the U.S. Supreme Court repeal a 1968 law that prohibits the sale of handguns to anyone under the age of 21 by licensed gun dealers, Florida has joined the 21 other states that support the repeal.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi announced their support of the NRA’s effort last week. This could quite possibly be another piece of horrendously bad legislation in which Scott has had his hands. Gov. Scott has had lawsuits filed against him for a myriad of laws he’s greenlighted such as the voter purge laws and the drug testing of welfare recipients and Florida state employees. But somehow, he sees this proposal by the NRA as a good one.
There are staggering statistics that show how bad of an idea the NRA’s requested repeal is. The Uniform Crime Report (UCR) took the stats for gun violence over the course of a single year and found that “24 percent of all gun homicides are committed” by those aged from 18 – 20 years. Of that group, 18-year olds had the highest frequency of murder arrests, with age 19 in second.
Despite the evidence that supports the sheer foolishness of such a repeal, some think that the NRA’s argument has a solid foundation.
“There’s something compelling about the argument that 18- to 21- year-olds who are able to bear arms in defense of the nation should be able to bear arms in defense of themselves,” said Adam Winkler, UCLA law professor. “I think, symbolically, there’s a strong case to be made.”
However, on grounds of maintaining a “perfectly legitimate government objective,” Winkler thinks that, although the NRA’s argument may be “compelling,” the court will not repeal the 1968 gun law.
Florida is the NRA’s special little pet, mainly because of the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law, which the NRA implemented it’s notoriously giant lobbying power to push through the Florida state legislature. The law would ultimately be one of the main talking points in the recently-infamous Trayvon Martin case, where George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year old Trayvon Martin in February of 2012.
Since the law was passed in 2005, “justifiable homicides” tripled in Florida.
The “stand your ground” law in Florida is already a hotbed of controversy and homicide. Opening up the sale of handguns to kids from 18- to 20-years old, who are statistically more prone to gun violence, would only further gas the flames caused by this controversial law.