Americans who view the ownership of military-grade assault weapons as more important than common-sense regulations surrounding their use have sued the state of Florida to prevent the enforcement of new gun laws.
As citizens, civic organizations, corporations and even financial institutions step up the pressure on US lawmakers for common-sense gun regulation, the notorious National Rifle Association (NRA) has doubled down on their message of fear by suing Florida after the state initiated new gun laws in the wake of a recent deadly high school shooting massacre that killed 17.
Florida Governor Rick Scott, in the past an ally to the NRA, signed the new bill raising the age limit for buying semi-automatic assault weapons and permitting the arming of teachers in classrooms.
On the same day that Scott enacted the new Florida law, the NRA initiated a suit claiming a violation of citizens rights under the US Constitution.
The new law Florida laws raise the minimum age for buying military-grade assault rifles to 21, however police officers and members of security organizations who are 18 and above when hired will be still be permitted to purchase rifles and shotguns.
The new Florida regulations also ban bump stocks, stipulate a three-day waiting period on every gun purchase in the state and streamline the ability of police to confiscate weapons and ammunition from those who are thought to be capable of violence.
Most tellingly, the new Florida gun statutes signed into law by Governor Scott on Friday allow staff and teachers at schools to carry guns as they perform their normal duties on campus, as long as school district authorities and local sheriff’s departments agree.
Permission to carry deadly weapons on campus while employed at US schools is currently allowed in some areas of Wyoming, South Dakota, Tennessee, Georgia, Kansas and Texas, according to The BBC.
Scott signed the bill and reminded those present at the ceremony that he was an NRA member, observing that some adherents of the influential gun club lobby would support the new laws but that many would not.
“It’s an example to the entire country that government can and has, moved fast,” he remarked, cited by The BBC.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi noted that while the new laws would not bring back the lives of those teenagers and children that were lost, it was nonetheless the “right thing to do.”
“The safety of our children is not a political issue,” she stated.
The increasingly unpopular NRA quickly moved to block the legislation, however, asking a judge to remove the ability of the state to enforce its own laws.
Public reaction to the gun club suit has been pointed, with one Florida Parkland school shooting survivor tweeting, “How am I not surprised” at the NRA lawsuit.
Lawmakers around the nation have been vocal in their condemnation of the NRA move. California state senator Scott Wiener, a Democrat, tweeted that the gun lobby has become a “toxic force” on the US political and cultural stage.