TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A bill filed in the Florida House Monday aims to lower the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 21 years of age to 18.
HB 1543, titled, Minimum Age for Firearm Purchase or Transfer, was jointly filed by Republican Representatives Bobby Payne and Tyler Sirois, and co-introduced by Representatives Randy Fine, Ralph Massullo, and Bob Rommel.
The bill, if passed, would amend s. 790.065, F.S. (Weapons and Firearms) “reducing the minimum age at which a person may purchase a firearm” to 18 years of age.
The bill states in part, “A person younger than 18 years of age may not purchase a firearm. The sale or transfer of a firearm to a person younger than 18 years of age may not be made or facilitated by a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer.”
A person found in violation of the bill would be charged with a third-degree felony.
If passed, the bill would take effect on July 1, 2023.
According to Reuters, lawmakers originally raised the age for gun purchases to 21 years on March 9, 2018, three weeks to the day after a gunman opened fire with a semiautomatic assault-style rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Fourteen students and three faculty members were killed during the mass shooting.
At the time, the law imposed a three-day waiting period on all gun purchases and allowed the arming of some school employees.