AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File

This Shows Just How Well Florida’s Age Limits are Working

e measures that was passed raised the minimum age for buying a long gun to 21, the same age as the federal limit for buying handguns. The idea was that no one under 21 could lawfully purchase any firearm.

This was because the Parkland killer was under 21, obviously.

While mass murders have happened in Florida since then, many still think that the age limit is a good idea. That’s why an effort to eliminate it went absolutely nowhere.

Yet an op-ed looking at the law enforcement response raises questions about the efficacy of the law.

Now, the op-ed, written by Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw, is about the police department’s response to this issue, and it includes things like sports leagues and the like. It’s a common enough response since the thinking is that bored kids are more likely to become criminals.

Yet my takeaway here is that Florida is a state that restricts all gun sales to people over 21. There’s no chance of a 14-year-old buying any firearm lawfully. That means the kind of person who would have a beef with a 14-year-old isn’t likely to be able to buy one, either.

So where are they getting them?

The short answer is that they’re getting them via the black market, much like how older criminals get them. The difference is a 14-year-old found with a gun is going to be charged as a juvenile in most cases, so long as they don’t commit a particularly heinous offense otherwise.

In other words, the age restrictions meant to prevent this sort of thing aren’t accomplishing jack squat.

Now, I’m not saying we should let children buy guns lawfully. Just like they don’t get to vote until they’re 18, they don’t get many of their other rights in full until they’re 18 either. That includes being able to buy firearms.

But those who are 18 and are living in Florida can’t buy guns. They’re second-class citizens in all but name, and that’s wrong. Especially since it’s clear that the age restrictions aren’t doing much of anything to keep minors from getting guns.

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