Court dissolves gun rights ruling on sales to people under 21

A federal appeals court on Wednesday vacated a gun rights ruling from July finding unconstitutional laws that prevent young adults under age 21 from buying handguns. A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit dissolved its ruling because the Virginia woman who initially brought the lawsuit turned 21 before the decision became official. “Despite efforts to add parties and reframe her claimed injuries, it is too late to revive this case. So it must be dismissed as moot,” wrote Judge Julius N. Richardson, author of the court’s initial opinion. The challenge to the age restrictions was brought by prospective handgun buyer Natalia Marshall, who was unable to purchase a handgun from a federally licensed firearms dealer in Virginia because of her age. Once Marshall turned 21, she was no longer prohibited from buying a handgun, and there was no longer a legal controversy, the court said. Marshall’s attorney had tried to add a new, younger plaintiff to the appeal — two days after Marshall turned 21, according to the court. By then, the court said, the case was moot. “One way or another, these laws are going to continue to be challenged,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that the Government will evade the repercussions of the court’s thorough ruling simply because the nature of the laws at issue allow them to escape final review through our lengthy litigation process.” In its 2-1 decision in July , the court found the minimum age requirement for purchases from […]

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