U.S. court upholds ban on handgun sales to people under 21

Image: jrroe/Flickr The United States may ban federally licensed firearms…

The Gun Store
Image: jrroe/Flickr

The United States may ban federally licensed firearms dealers from selling handguns to people under age 21, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Thursday, in a defeat for the National Rifle Association.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Houston rejected the NRA’s argument that 18- to 20-year-olds had a right to buy the guns under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment.

A unanimous three-judge panel said Congress, in a law dating from 1968, adopted the sales ban to help curb violent crime. It also said that the nation’s founders and 19th-century courts and commentators believed that disarming specific groups did not trample on the right to bear arms.

“Congress was focused on a particular problem: young persons under 21, who are immature and prone to violence, easily accessing handguns,” mainly from licensed dealers, Judge Edward Prado wrote for the panel.

“The present ban appears consistent with a longstanding tradition of age- and safety-based restrictions on the ability to access arms,” he added.

Source: Reuters

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  • Andrew

    I especially like the last quote, being consistent with a longstanding tradition… Just because it’s tradition doesn’t mean it’s right.

  • Todd in RPK

    I went into the military at 18. Even though I couldn’t buy a handgun on the civilian market due to Gov’t restrictions, I had one issued to me by the Gov’t. Go fucking figure.

  • Gregory

    So, three years older and the person will go from “immature and prone to violence” to a perfect citizen. Give me a break. If someone is old enough to vote and go off to war and die for their country then they are old enough to pruchase a handgun.