9th Circuit Hears Contradictory Arguments on Whether People Aged 18 to 20 Have a Right To Buy Weapons

9th Circuit Hears Contradictory Arguments on Whether People Aged 18 to 20 Have a Right To Buy Weapons

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, considering the case of Jones v. Bonta , asked each side to submit briefs addressing the "original public meaning" of aspects of the Second Amendment, as it considers whether California is violating that amendment by barring those ages 18 to 20 from legally purchasing guns. The plaintiffs are a team of citizens under 21 and various gun rights lobbying groups, including the Firearms Policy Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation. A lower court back in November 2020 denied those challenging California’s age-based gun purchase ban their request for a preliminary injunction to stop California from enforcing the law, and the 9th Circuit is now considering an appeal of that decision. The law in question, California Penal Code 27510(a) , insists licensed firearms dealers "shall not sell, supply, deliver, or give possession or control of a firearm to any person who is under 21 years of age." There are some exceptions for people like military or National Guard members or those with valid hunting licenses (though even they still can’t buy handguns or "semiautomatic centerfire rifles"). This week each side submitted their briefs. Here are the arguments for and against the right of someone aged 18, 19, or 20 to buy a gun. California insists that "Founding-era sources confirm that such individuals were considered infants without the full panoply of rights at the time, and consistent with that reality, jurisdictions have long restricted firearms access for individuals under the age of […]

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