Fourth Circuit Asked to Strike Down Age Limit for Handguns

Fourth Circuit Asked to Strike Down Age Limit for Handguns

A collection of firearms on display at the Colonial Shooting Academy in Richmond, Va., last year. (Courthouse News photo/Brad Kutner) RICHMOND, Va. (CN) — A Fourth Circuit panel seemed open to the idea of rolling back the federal 21-year age limit to purchase a handgun during a hearing Friday afternoon. The dispute involves two Virginians, Tanner Hirschfeld and Natalia Marshall, both under the age of 21, who sought to purchase handguns from a federally licensed firearms dealer. They were rejected under the Gun Control Act of 1968 and filed a federal lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, but U.S. District Judge Glen Conrad dismissed their case last year. Conrad, a George W. Bush appointee, relied on Congress’ history of regulating firearms sales, as well as medical research into the mental capacity of those under 21 and their predisposition for poor judgement that leads to more crimes being committed, as grounds to toss the lawsuit. “The challenged laws also do not prevent handgun purchases from non-FFL [federal firearms licensee] parties, and alternatively, 18-to-20-year-olds are permitted to receive handguns from their parents,” Conrad wrote a year ago, noting there were other avenues for the plaintiff’s to achieve their goal. But at the Fourth Circuit hearing Friday, U.S. Circuit Judges Julius Richardson, a Donald Trump appointee, and Steven Agee, a George W. Bush appointee, appeared more interested in how the Founding Fathers would examine the restrictions currently in place. “Currently minor means less than 18 to buy cigarettes […]

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