Florida Minimum-Age Firearm Proposal Impacts Hunting, Conservation

Action Alert! Contact your state Senator and state Representative today and ask them to vote “NO” on legislation that would increase the age from 18 to 21 to purchase any firearm. Florida members can find their state delegate by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and legislators in both the Florida House and Senate are set to propose legislation that would prohibit the purchase of a long gun for anyone under the age of 21. The proposal will negatively impact the retention and participation of youth hunters, as well as funding of conservation.

Whether using a youth-model shotgun or a hunting rifle, Florida’s young adults are a key demographic of hunters that fund conservation through hunting license sales and the taxes that are paid on firearms and ammunition. The safety record of millions of young-adult hunters is exemplary. Maintaining their ranks in the hunting community is key to the future of conservation funding and hunting.

Further, 18 year olds are considered adults in the eyes of the law and fully vested in their constitutional rights, and both the Florida National Guard and the U.S. military accept people at age 18 into military service, commonly putting them in harm’s way. A 21-year-old age minimum sends a contradictory message that government will accept the wounding and ultimate sacrifice of young adults on foreign battlefields under the age of 21, but doesn’t trust them with a firearm in their own home or the fields of America. 

“The current emotional and political climate concerning firearms is understandable, but this is a very complex, multi-faceted, issue,” said Evan Heusinkveld, president and CEO of Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Pushing reactionary legislation that doesn’t address the issue, but does trample the civil rights of millions of voting adults while also making it impossible for them to even duck hunt is not the answer.”

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: OnlineFacebookTwitter and Instagram.