According to a federal judge in Virginia, an unlawful regulation prohibiting licensed federal weapons dealers from selling handguns to young adults under 21 violates the Second Amendment.
On Wednesday, the U.S. If not reversed, Richmond District Court Judge Robert Payne would let dealers sell firearms to people between 18 and 20.
Many of the duties and rights of citizenship, such as the ability to vote, enlist in the military without parental consent, and serve on a federal jury, are bestowed at the age of 18, according to Payne’s 71-page decision.
“The Court would impose limitations on the Second Amendment that do not exist with other constitutional guarantees,” Payne said. “If the Court were to exclude 18-to-20-year-olds from the Second Amendment’s protection.”
He added, “The statutes and regulations in question cannot stand because they are not consistent with the history and tradition of our Nation.”
In the aftermath of a landmark Supreme Court decision last year that altered the standard courts have traditionally used to assess appeals to firearm restrictions, Payne’s judgment is the most recent one to strike down gun prohibitions.
According to the Supreme Court, judges should no longer consider how well the law advances societal goals like strengthening public safety. The Supreme Court stated that to prove that a gun restriction is in keeping with the nation’s “historical tradition of firearm regulation,” the government must look back in time.
Courts have ruled that several regulations, including federal ones intended to prevent domestic abusers and those facing felony charges from having access to firearms and a prohibition on owning weapons with the serial number removed, are illegal amid the turmoil in the months after that decision.
A federal judge recently overturned a Minnesota law prohibiting those between 18 and 20 from obtaining permits to carry pistols publicly, citing the high court’s judgment. A judge invalidated a similar Texas bill on gun restrictions for young adults last year.
The absence of similar regulations from the colonial era, founding era, or early republic demonstrates that the “Founders considered age-based regulations on the purchase of firearms to circumscribe the right to keep and bear arms confirmed by the Second Amendment,” according to Payne, who cited the 2022 Supreme Court decision numerous times in his ruling.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 and the related rules from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives were challenged by John Corey Fraser, 20, and other plaintiffs when they were denied access to handgun purchases.
“We expect the defendants will appeal,” said Elliott Harding, Fraser’s attorney, “even though it ensures that future buyers can now purchase these firearms in the federal system—one that includes background checks and other requirements.” He expressed confidence that the judgment would be upheld.
Since 18 to 20-year-olds can already purchase pistols from private sellers, a “completely unregulated” procedure, Harding claimed that the action was intended to “close a loophole.”
He explained that they can purchase a registered firearm directly from a manufacturer using this method, but they must also pass background checks. They must follow the customary procedures for buying a gun.
The rule is constitutional and a crucial tool for avoiding gun tragedy, according to Everytown Rule, a legal organization that represents victims of gun violence in court and files a brief to support the age limitations.
In addition to being the number one killer of American children and teenagers, Janet Carter, senior director of issues and appeals at Everytown Law, noted that 18 to 20-year-olds commit gun homicides at a rate three times higher than that of people 21 and older.
She claimed her life would be at risk due to the court’s decision. It has to be turned around.
Emails requesting comments on the decision from the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives were unanswered.