When the topic of gun control came up during the debate, Democrat candidate Beto O’Rourke accused Abbott of ignoring school safety by way of not passing more gun control.
The idea of raising the minimum age to purchase a rifle was specifically mentioned, and Abbott explained that he did not support it because courts had already ruled against it in other states.
Abbott said, “We want to end school shootings, but we cannot do that by making false promises. It’s a false promise to suggest that we can pass a law that will be upheld by the constitution to raise the age, and here’s why: The most recent federal court of appeals decision on this particular issue said that it was unconstitutional for a state to raise the age from 18 to 21 for a person to buy an AR-15. So any attempt to raise the age is going to be overturned.”
The moderator followed up with a more direct question to Abbott, saying, “Are you against this proposal because you feel like it’s unconstitutional or you believe that it’s unnecessary?”
Abbott responded, “Purely from a legal position, based upon what that court of appeals decision ruled, and, importantly, based upon what the Supreme Court decision said in a June opinion, that changed the way that that Parkland case was determined.”
Abbott stressed his belief that Florida’s gun control raising the age from 18 to 21 will be overturned.
On May 11, 2022, Breitbart News reported that a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that California’s ban on semiautomatic rifle sales to persons ages 18-20 was unconstitutional. The ruling by the three-judge panel has been set aside and remanded back down for a ruling that applies the historical standard set forth in NYSRPA v. Bruen.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. AWR Hawkins holds a PhD in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange. Reach him directly at email@example.com.