The NRA Just Sued Florida for Raising the Minimum Age to Purchase a Gun

They argue that the new law is unfair to women under 21.

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference.Ron Sachs/CNP via ZUMA Wire

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

It only took a few hours for the NRA to sue Florida officials after Gov. Rick Scott signed a law that raised the minimum age for gun purchases.

On Friday, lawyers for the NRA requested an injunction in federal court to stop Florida officials from enforcing the new policy that makes it illegal for those under 21 to purchase firearms, arguing in a complaint that the law is unconstitutional and imposes “a significant, unequal, and impermissible burden on the right to keep and bear arms of a class of millions of law-abiding 18-to-20-year-old adult citizens.” 

The NRA argues that the restriction would put a particular burden on NRA members who are women under 21 because they are less likely to engage in violent crime than older men who can legally purchase firearms. The complaint argues that women “pose a relatively slight risk of perpetrating a school shooting such as the one that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, or, for that matter, a violent crime of any kind.” 

After Scott signed the legislation, Chris Cov, executive director for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, criticized the bill for punishing “law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual.” 

The NRA’s Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer opposed the bill as it made its way through the legislature, and she alerted members to call Republican representatives to urge them to vote against it. The legislation also creates a three-day wait period for gun purchases, directs $400 toward mental health services and school safety, and creates an opt-in “guardian program” that lets school personnel who have completed a training program to carry firearms on school grounds.

Earlier this week, Tyler Watson, a 20-year-old man from Oregon, sued Wal-Mart and Dick’s Sporting Goods separately for age discrimination after the two retailers independently raised the age limit for gun purchases to 21 years old in response to the Parkland shooting. 

Read the complaint below. 

 



We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate