The NRA is suing the state of Florida for passing legislation that raises the age to buy firearms to 21. Ring of Fire’s Mike Papantonio and Peter Mougey discuss this issue.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             NRA is suing the state of Florida for passing legislation that raises the age to buy firearms to 21. The group claims that the age increase violates the rights of people under 21 years old, and they’re making an equal protection argument, if you can imagine. Oddly enough, if they’re going to win on this, they are going to win on equal protection. I think that’s probably their strongest argument. They’re saying, “What is it about a 21-year-old, what’s so magic about that? What is different between that person and this person?”

Equal protection says we look at the law, we treat people exactly the same way, unless, unless, and here’s where the NRA may lose on this. There’s something in the law called police powers: health, safety, and welfare. There’s a pushback between police powers and something like equal protection. You’ve seen time and time again where the police powers have succeeded. My call on this in Florida, they’re filed in the northern district, probably-

Peter Mougey:                    Which is embarrassing. This is in our home district.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Peter Mougey:                    They filed in the northern district because they think that’s where their best chances of prevailing are.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, at any rate, at any rate, their chances of actually succeeding. But this bill talked about … at least it was a step forward. Pam Bondi, who, to me-

Peter Mougey:                    She supports it.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Peter Mougey:                    She thinks it’s a good idea.

Mike Papantonio:             Pam Bondi, follow her career, it’s a nightmare. I mean, it’s a nightmare career where she is about as right-wing as you’d ever want to run into. But she-

Peter Mougey:                    This is a no-brainer. All this bill is saying is give us a three-day waiting period.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Peter Mougey:                    You have to wait till you’re 21 to buy a handgun or a gun. You can’t use the bumpstocks, which is the ones that fire more rounds per second. I mean, this isn’t-

Mike Papantonio:             And how about this, Peter? Makes perfect sense. They say if law enforcement sees during that three-day period that you’re bonkers, and you’re trying to buy a gun or that you’ve had a domestic incident at home, some kind of abuse, then the police can say, “No, we’re getting involved, and we’re going to stop the sale of this gun.” I mean, it’s just logical.

Peter Mougey:                    So, the NRA says those steps forward, those minor steps, that those outweigh the health, safety, and welfare of our students, that you have to wait till you’re 21.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Peter Mougey:                    You have to wait three days. It’s crazy that they-

Mike Papantonio:             The NRA can possibly win on this under the equal protection argument. That’s my prediction.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.