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Controversy erupts over proposal to lower gun buying age in Florida

Florida – Florida is right in the middle of a big debate about gun laws again. A new proposal wants to change the minimum age for buying rifles and other similar guns from 21 to 18. This change is being discussed at the state’s capital. If it goes through, it would undo a part of the law that was put in place after a very sad event at Parkland.

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Back in February 2018, a terrible shooting happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by Nikolas Cruz, who was 19 at the time. He killed 17 students and staff members. This led the government, including the Governor at the time, Rick Scott, to make a new law the next month, named after the school. This law increased the age to buy guns to 21, aiming to stop such terrible things from happening again.

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Now, there’s a new plan called HB 1223, pushed by Representative Bobby Payne, who tried something similar last year but didn’t succeed. Payne says this new bill is about fixing a mistake made in 2018. He thinks it’s important for people who follow the law to have their rights back, including the right to own a gun. He says, “If you’re old enough to vote and join the military, you should be able to protect yourself with a gun.”

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But not everyone agrees with this idea. Representative Christine Hunschofsky, who was the mayor of Parkland when the shooting happened, strongly disagrees with the new bill, just like she did with last year’s attempt. She believes the law made after the Parkland shooting was a brave decision and is worried about what it means if it’s undone.

The bill, HB 1223, says that people under 18 can’t buy a gun, and gun sellers can’t sell to them either. If someone breaks this rule, they could be charged with a serious crime.

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