Florida House Votes To Drop Minimum Age For Gun Buys; Bill Doesn't Pass

Zac K
by Zac K

Across the United States, gun control laws seem to be loosening or being nixed altogether at a very quick rate. The latest news of more liberal gun control measures (as in, classically liberal) comes from Florida. The state’s House of Representatives recently voted to lower the minimum age of legal firearms purchase from 21 to 18 years. However, this time around, the law will not pass, thanks to the state Senate.

Laws and Regulations @ TFB:

The law passed in the Sunshine State’s House of Representatives on March 3, with a very healthy 76-35 majority. HB 1223, titled “Minimum Age for Firearm Purchase or Transfer.” From there, it headed further up the food chain to the state Senate, which would theoretically consider the law and approve it, nix it, or recommend changes.

As it turned out, the Senate did not consider the bill before the end of the legislative session, so it did not pass. It is now considered to have “died in rules.”

Florida currently has no ban on minors younger than 21 possessing firearms, but they are prohibited from purchasing firearms, and no licensed dealer may sell to them. That rule came in 2018 after a 19-year-old man carried out a mass shooting at a high school in the city of Parkland. As a result, lawmakers quickly passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, getting through the government with bipartisan support.

Without Senate approval, the bill is dead for now. Minors return to legal limbo in Florida, where they can possess firearms but cannot buy them. [Thayne Tuason/CC BY-SA 4.0]
The NRA challenged that rule in court, but in early 2023, the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the age limit could stand. At that time, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signaled his own opposition to the 21-year-old age limit on firearms purchases. Roughly a year later, we saw the legislative process working on a change. Their proposed update to the law would mean those aged 18-20 could legally buy long guns again.

HB 1223 was initially brought forward by representatives Bobby Payne and Tyler Sirois. You can read its version here, but keep in mind that what you read at this point (mid-March, 2024) is not law. Without the Senate’s consideration, it did not reach the governor’s desk for final approval.

However, the way the wind is blowing lately—with permitless carry laws sweeping across the nation—it seems many state governments are changing their mind on existing gun control measures. The law might not have passed this year, but as long as current political trends continue, it seems likely Florida will be one of the next jurisdictions to walk back previous restrictions.

Zac K
Zac K

Professional hoser with fudd-ish leanings.

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  • BaconLovingInfidel BaconLovingInfidel on Mar 19, 2024

    “Florida currently has no ban on minors younger than 21 possessing firearms, but they are prohibited from purchasing firearms, and no licensed dealer may sell to them.”

    This is legally illiterate gibberish. 18-21 year olds are NOT minors.

  • Salty Kraker Salty Kraker on Mar 20, 2024

    Time to out some traitors in Tallahassee.