Nearly six years after a 19-year-old fatally shot 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida Republicans are pushing to lower the legal age for buying rifles and other long guns back to 18.
Lawmakers in 2018 raised the purchase age to 21 following revelations that Stoneman Douglas shooter Nikolas Cruz had legally purchased the AR-15-style weapon he used in the attack.
Tony Montalto, whose 14-year-old daughter Gina was killed in the shooting, testified against lowering the age. “Our current law is working,” he said during a Jan. 30 Criminal Justice Subcommittee hearing in Tallahassee. “I implore each of you to remember that law is written in the blood of the victims, including my beautiful daughter, Gina.”
Jayden D’Onofrio, 19, also spoke against the bill, recalling that he was in middle school nearby when Cruz attacked the high school. “Consider the facts,” D’Onofrio said, “18-to-20-year-olds are three times more likely to commit gun homicides.”