Minimum Age To Purchase Long Guns Being Debated in Tallahassee


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Senate President Kathleen Passidomo said Wednesday she does not support a proposal to lower the minimum age from 21 to 18 to buy rifles and other long guns in Florida.  

The House this week started moving forward with a bill that would reverse part of a 2018 law that set the minimum age at 21 after a gunman killed 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.  

Nikolas Cruz, then 19, used a semi-automatic rifle to carry out the attack.  

Passidomo says she is focused on identifying and getting help for students who have serious mental and emotional issues to prevent such things as mass shootings, adding that the age 18 legislation will face difficulty in the Senate. 

“We don’t have it in the Senate. I mean, nobody filed it. So, there is no bill to support,” Passidomo said.

In a challenge filed by the National Rifle Association, a panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week upheld the constitutionality of the requirement that gun buyers be at least 21.  

Federal law has long prevented people under 21 from buying handguns.  

Lawmakers included the age requirement for rifles and long guns in a broad school-safety bill that passed after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting. 

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