TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A federal judge has upheld Florida’s law prohibiting the sale of firearms to anyone under the age of 21.
Family members of the Parkland shooting victims, which were the impetus for the law, are thankful for the ruling.
Just about an hour after then-Gov. Rick Scott signed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, which in part, prohibited the sale of firearms to those under the age of 21, the NRA hit the state with a lawsuit.
“I’m gonna fight for this bill. I believe it does the right thing,” said Scott in March of 2018.
Three years later, a federal judge has now ruled the law can stand.
“We’re very happy,” said Tony Montalto, President of Stand With Parkland.
Montalto’s daughter Gina was one of the 17 killed in the 2018 mass shooting.
“We need to find a balance here in America between the rights of the individual to own a weapon and the rights of individuals to come home,” said Montalto.
He said the age limit is one of many provisions in the law passed in the wake of the shooting that could have made a difference had it been in place that day.
“He sadly was an unsupervised 18 to 20-year-old who was allowed to purchase this weapon and he made a poor choice of what to do with it and it cost the lives of my beautiful daughter Gina, and 16 other wonderful souls,” said Montalto.
The judge did note some hang-ups with the law, including the fact that 18 to 20-year-olds can still obtain a firearm through a family member, but the law acts as a blanket ban for those without family.
“Why should the 20-year-old single mother living on her 46 own be unable to obtain a firearm for self-defense when a 20-year-old living with their parents can easily obtain one?” wrote walker in the 48-page ruling.
The NRA’s Marion Hammer told us the “NRA is considering its options” in a provided statement.
The organization has until July 26 to decide whether to appeal the ruling.
Florida is one of just four states that bans the sale of all firearms to those under 21.
Washington and Vermont also have an age limit of 21, but with some exceptions.