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Attorney General Josh Stein Defends Sensible Gun Safety Measures 

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Contact:
Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein and a coalition of 20 attorneys general defended a Florida law that limits the sale of firearms to people 21 and older. The law was enacted after a 19-year-old carried out the deadliest shooting at a high school in our nation’s history. In a friend-of-the court brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the coalition contends that states can enact reasonable, age-based firearm measures that protect the public and reduce gun violence.

“Gun violence is on the rise in North Carolina – including in our schools – and we need to do everything in our power to keep guns out of the wrong hands,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I’ll continue to defend the rights of states including our own to take basic steps to protect young people from suffering from gun violence.”

The coalition filed the brief in National Rifle Association v. Commissioner, Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The lawsuit challenges a provision of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act that generally prohibits people younger than 21 from purchasing firearms. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that the law infringes upon the Second Amendment rights of young people. A lower court in this case rejected that argument, holding that laws regulating the sale of firearms to young people are longstanding and constitutional.

In the brief, the coalition argues that the Second Amendment gives states the ability to enact sensible regulations that protect the public, including limiting the ability of people younger than 21 to purchase firearms. Although the laws differ, virtually every state and the District of Columbia has imposed some age-based limits on the sale or use of firearms. Courts across the country have repeatedly upheld age-based regulations because the goal is to deter crime and promote public safety.

Attorney General Stein is joined in filing this brief by the Attorneys General of Illinois, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

A copy of the brief is available here.

More on Attorney General Stein’s work to protect North Carolinians from gun violence:

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