Florida Governor Rick Scott signed SB 7026 into law on Friday.  Among other things, SB 7026 raised the minimum age to buy a rifle or shotgun from 18 to 21, effective immediately.  The new provision is Fla. Stat. § 790.065(13), which provides that:

“A person younger than 21 years of age may not purchase a firearm. The sale or transfer of a firearm to a person younger than 21 years of age may not be made or facilitated by a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer. A person who violates this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. The prohibitions of this subsection do not apply to the purchase of a rifle or shotgun by a law enforcement officer or correctional officer, . . . or a servicemember . . . .”

Federal law already prohibited federally licensed firearms dealers from selling handguns to anyone under the age of 21.

The NRA immediately filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida seeking to enjoin enforcement of the provision increasing the minimum age on the basis that it violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, as incorporated to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause.

The NRA’s complaint seeks a declaratory judgment that the law increasing the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21 is unconstitutional, and injunctive relief enjoining Florida from enforcing the law.  The NRA’s complaint does not challenge any of the other provisions of SB 7026, such as the ban on bump stocks.

The lawsuit names Pam Bondi, in her official capacity as Florida Attorney General, and Rick Swearingen, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, as defendants and has been assigned to Judge Mark Walker. 

Renzulli Law Firm will continue to monitor the status of the NRA v. Bondi lawsuit.