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October 26, 2021 - Herring Supports Florida’s Firearm Age Regulations

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Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street Richmond, Virginia 23219


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~ Herring has filed an amicus brief defending Florida’s law limiting the sale of firearms to people aged 21 and up ~

RICHMOND – Attorney General Mark R. Herring is defending a Florida law limiting the sale of firearms to people aged 21 and up. Attorney General Herring has joined a coalition of 20 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit arguing that states have the right to enact reasonable, age-based firearms regulations that protect public safety and reduce the prevalence of gun violence.


In September, Attorney General Herring helped successfully defend a longstanding federal gun safety law after he and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh filed a similar amicus brief defending the decades-old law that limits the sale of handguns to those age 21 and older.


“Almost every state across the country, including Virginia, has implemented some kind of age-based restrictions on the sale of firearms,” said Attorney General Herring. “Age-based firearm regulations have been used for decades to keep communities and people safe, and to help keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals. It’s critical that states have the ability to pass gun safety measures, like age-based restrictions, that meet their individual public safety goals.”


Attorney General Herring and his colleagues 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 the purchase of firearms by individuals under the age of 21. 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, Attorney General Herring and his colleagues argue that the Second Amendment gives states the ability to enact sensible regulations designed to protect the public, including age-based restrictions that limit the ability of people younger than 21 to purchase firearms. Although regulations differ based on each state’s needs, virtually every state and the District of Columbia has imposed some age-based restrictions on the sale or use of firearms, and at least 19 states and the District of Columbia have enacted a minimum age requirement of 21 for the sale or possession of certain categories of firearms. Similarly, courts across the country have consistently upheld age-based regulations, noting that the goal of these regulations is to deter crime and promote public safety.


Joining Attorney General Herring in filing the amicus brief are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.


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