Last week, Marco Rubio stared into the eyes of a father who lost his daughter during the nation’s deadliest high school shooting and made an announcement: Young adults should not be able to purchase guns.
“I absolutely believe that in this country, if you are 18 years of age you should not be able to buy a rifle. I will support a law that takes that right away,” Rubio said during an intense town hall event with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students, parents and alumni.
But one of Rubio’s own bills, which he has introduced twice, would overturn an assault weapons ban and legalize gun sales for young adults in the nation’s capital, allowing 18- to 21-year-olds in Washington, D.C. to purchase weapons like the AR-15 used in the Parkland shooting if federal law doesn’t change.
The Florida Republican introduced the Second Amendment Enforcement Act in 2015 and again in 2017 that would drastically change the District of Columbia’s gun laws. After introducing the bill for the first time in 2015 while seeking the Republican presidential nomination, Rubio’s National Rifle Association’s grade went from a B+ to an A.
A man who was once called a “big disappointment” by Florida NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer — after wavering on a bill that allowed people with concealed-carry permits to keep their weapons in their vehicles while at work — was now back in the good graces of the nation’s gun lobby.
“Rubio has a perfect voting record in the Senate,” NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said in 2015. “His rating reflects five years’ worth of votes in defense of the Second Amendment.”
Spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas said Tuesday that Rubio’s D.C. gun bill won’t be changed in light of his new policy position.
Read more here.