Federal Court Rules Handgun Sales Cannot Be Restricted by Age

Federal Court Rules Handgun Sales Cannot Be Restricted by Age

Semi-automatics for sale at a British gun show. Photo by Ashley Butte via Flickr A divided federal appeals court held the federal government could not restrict federally licensed gun dealers from selling handguns to law-abiding citizens under 21 years old, reports the Wall Street Journal. This 2-1 decision Tuesday by the Richmond, Va.-based Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals marked the first time that a high-level court very explicitly extended the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms to younger adults. This appeal arose from a case brought by Natalia Marshall and Tanner Hirschfeld, who barred from purchasing firearms in Virginia because of their age, according to the Washington Post. Marshal obtained a protective order against an abusive ex-boyfriend, and grew up training with guns, believing handguns are an “effective tool for protection,” according to court filings in the case. According to the Wall Street Journal , they filed suit challenging a federal law that limits federally licensed gun dealers from selling handguns and ammunition to people under 21. Congress first enacted this restraint responding to a surge of violent crim committed by young people in the late 1960s. This age restriction though doesn’t apply or restrict young adults from possessing handguns or acquiring them as gifts or through private sales Attorney Elliott Harding, who represented the plaintiffs, said that he was gratified that the court “recognized that these young adults are not second-class citizens” and that this ruling will enhance public safety by allowing young people to […]

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