U.S. appeals court erases ruling allowing gun sales to people under 21

U.S. appeals court erases ruling allowing gun sales to people under 21

FILE PHOTO: Guns are displayed after a gun buyback event organized by the NYPD, in the Queens borough of New York City By Jonathan Stempel (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday threw out its recent decision that a federal prohibition on firearms dealers selling guns to young adults under 21 was unconstitutional, deciding the case was now moot because both plaintiffs have reached that age. A panel of the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had issued the 2-1 ruling on July 13, authored by Circuit Judge Julius Richardson. But Richardson said it now serves the public interest to vacate the decision, clearing the way for further litigation on the matter. Richardson also said the public and legal community will benefit because “the exchange of ideas between the panel and dissent will remain available as a persuasive source.” The federal measures being challenged bar handgun sales to people ages 18 to 20. In the July decision, the panel’s majority said people as young as 18 had a right to own guns under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms. It also said young adults could not be relegated to “second-class status,” notwithstanding the “weighty interest in reducing crime and violence.” One plaintiff turned 21 before the court ruled, and the second turned 21 on July 25 before the court issued a mandate in the case. Both had sought unsuccessfully to buy firearms in Virginia, when they were younger. […]

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