Despite being able to vote and join the military at 18, Floridians must wait until they are 21 to legally purchase a rifle or long gun. If you’re under 21 in Florida and looking to buy a rifle, you might have to wait a little longer before exercising your Second Amendment rights. The legal age to purchase a rifle or long gun in Florida is set at 21 years old, making it a state with one of the highest age requirements for gun ownership in the country.
A bill known as HB 1543 is making its way through the state legislature with the aim of lowering the minimum age for buying a rifle or long gun in Florida from 21 to 18 years old. A proposal to reduce the minimum age requirement for buying a rifle or long gun in Florida from 21 to 18 years old is currently under review by the state legislature in the form of a bill called HB 1543. If the proposed bill (HB 1543) passes, Floridians aged 18 to 20 could legally purchase a rifle or long gun, marking a significant change from the current minimum age requirement of 21.
The contentious issue of whether to lower the age limit for purchasing long guns in Florida has been the subject of heated debates among lawmakers, Second Amendment activists, and concerned citizens alike. Some are in favor of expanding constitutional rights by allowing younger individuals access to firearms, while others argue that stricter regulations are necessary for public safety.
One of the primary arguments in favor of lowering the minimum age for purchasing long guns is that it would allow more young adults to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Currently, individuals aged 18 to 20 can only obtain a long gun through gifting, which many argue is a cumbersome and restrictive process. The proposed bill would require young adults purchasing long guns to undergo thorough background checks, ensuring that those with prior criminal convictions or mental health issues are not granted access to deadly firearms.
Proponents of the bill claim that these new regulations would enhance public safety by preventing potentially dangerous individuals from obtaining guns. Some lawmakers are against the proposal of lowering the age requirement for purchasing rifles and other long guns in Florida. Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, for instance, has voiced her opposition to the measure.
However, the proposal remains a hotly contested issue, with opponents arguing that it could lead to an increase in gun violence and accidental shootings. Despite the ongoing debates, one thing remains clear: the future of gun legislation in Florida is far from settled.
HB 1543 is a proposed bill that aims to reduce the minimum age required to purchase long guns, including rifles and shotguns, from licensed dealers in Florida. This bill comes five years after the establishment of the minimum age of 21, which was put in place as part of a comprehensive school safety law following the tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.