Federal Court Rules Banning Handgun Sales to People Under 21 Is Unconstitutional

Federal Court Rules Banning Handgun Sales to People Under 21 Is Unconstitutional
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Gun control advocates just can’t stop losing – with their latest legal defeat being handed to them by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

According to American Military News:

A federal appeals court ruled that federal regulations limiting the sale of handguns to individuals 21 and older violate Second Amendment rights.

A divided panel of three judges found the restrictions to be unconstitutional. Judge Julius N. Richardson, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, wrote in the majority opinion.

“When do constitutional rights vest? At 18 or 21? 16 or 25? Why not 13 or 33? In the law, a line must sometimes be drawn. But there must be a reason why constitutional rights cannot be enjoyed until a certain age,” Richardson wrote. “Our nation’s most cherished constitutional rights vest no later than 18. And the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms is no different.” Richardson went on to note that 18-year-olds “were required at the time of the Founding to serve in the militia and furnish their own weapons.” He asked whether the government has displayed good reason to justify infringing on those rights now.

“To justify this restriction, Congress used disproportionate crime rates to craft overinclusive laws that restrict the rights of overwhelmingly law-abiding citizens. And in doing so, Congress focused on purchases from licensed dealers without establishing those dealers as the source of the guns 18- to 20-year-olds use to commit crimes,” he stated. “So, we hold that the challenged federal laws and regulations are unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.”

“Despite the weighty interest in reducing crime and violence, we refuse to relegate either the Second Amendment or 18- to 20-year-olds to a second-class status,” he concluded.

The only dissenting judge was a former President Barack Obama appointee, James A. Wynn, who complained that the panel was handing the “gun lobby” a win (as opposed to handing those age 18-21 a win in being able to exercise their constitutional rights).

Ironically Obama himself was once named the “best gun salesman in America” due to the tendency for gun sales to spike whenever he would float gun control. The industry as a whole grew an estimated 158% during Obama’s tenure. Things naturally slowed down under Donald Trump because there was no threat of forthcoming gun control, though sales did begin to skyrocket in 2020 amid a field of anti-gun Democrat presidential candidates, a pandemic, and rising crime that coincided with the “defund the police” movement.

There were over five million new gun owners in 2020, likely the largest surge in gun ownership in U.S. history. The trend hasn’t stopped, and if annual sales keep pace with what they did the first quarter of 2021, gun sales are set to eclipse their record in 2020.

Matt Palumbo is the author of Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New YorkDebunk This: Shattering Liberal Lies, and Spygate


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