Florida Senate President Passidomo opposes lowering rifle-buying age to 18

Gun Rights

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, said Wednesday she does not support a proposal to lower the minimum age from 21 to 18 to buy rifles and other long guns in Florida.

“We don’t have it in the Senate,” Passidomo told reporters. “Nobody’s filed it.”

The House this week started moving forward with a bill (HB 1543) that would reverse part of a 2018 law that set the minimum age at 21 after a gunman killed 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Nikolas Cruz, then 19, used a semi-automatic rifle to carry out the attack.

Related: Florida lawmakers move forward bill to undo post-Parkland age limit to buy rifles

House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, issued a statement Monday saying the House was “restoring the ability of young adults to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

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In a challenge filed by the National Rifle Association, a panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week upheld the constitutionality of the requirement that gun buyers be at least 21.

Federal law has long prevented people under 21 from buying handguns. Lawmakers included the age requirement for rifles and long guns in a broad school safety bill that passed after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting.

Passidomo said she has focused on issues in the law related to identifying and getting help for students who have serious mental and emotional issues to prevent such things as mass shootings.

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