Federal court voids ruling on minimum age requirements for buying guns

Federal court voids ruling on minimum age requirements for buying guns

Washington — A federal appeals court tossed out an earlier ruling that found federal laws prohibiting the sale of handguns to young adults under the age of 21 are unconstitutional, because the woman who mounted the legal battle against the minimum age requirement turned 21. A three-judge panel on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in an opinion Wednesday that the plaintiff, Natalia Marshall, turned 21 before the court could issue its formal mandate in the case, thus rendering her claims moot. The mandate consists of a certified copy of the judgment, a copy of the court’s opinion and information about costs. “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,” Judge Julius Richardson wrote in an opinion. The unanimous panel also instructed a lower court to dismiss the case. “Here, Marshall challenged the prohibition on buying a handgun from a federally licensed firearms dealer while she was under 21,” Richardson, appointed by former President Donald Trump, wrote. “Once she turned 21, nothing prohibited her from buying the handgun she desired from a dealer of her choice. So her original claims are now moot.” The 4th Circuit panel ruled in the dispute over the age requirements for handgun purchases in July, finding that 18-year-olds possess the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The divided 2-1 panel said the rules at issue in the case amount to a “total ban” on […]

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