by Chris White
The National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit against Florida on Friday night for increasing the purchasing age for a rifle shortly after a school shooting rocked the state.
The lawsuit comes after Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation Friday afternoon raising the age to buy guns from 18 to 21. The law includes several other gun control measures, including a ban on “bump stocks” that allow rifles to mimic automatic rifles, but also allows some teachers to carry on campus.
“The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do as governor is try to find the words to console a parent who has lost their child,” Scott, a Republican, said of a shooting on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people. “There are just no words.”
Lawyers for the NRA want a federal judge to block the age restriction from taking effect. The group criticized Scott after he signed the $400 million bill – they punished “law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual,” the NRA said in a press statement immediately after the law passed.
“The deranged murderer in Parkland, Florida gave repeated warning signs that were ignored by federal and state officials,” the group added. “If we want to prevent future atrocities, we must look for solutions that keep guns out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves or others, while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans.”
Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart crafted a policy earlier this month that raised the minimum age for buying a firearm and ammunition to 21 from 18. Both stores are now being sued in Oregon, where it is legal to purchase a gun above the age of 18.
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