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 May 12, 2023

Judge's ruling tosses prohibition against young adults purchasing handguns

A federal judge just took a massive stand for the Second Amendment and how it applies to those above 18 and under 21, with regard to the purchasing of handguns. 

According to the Washington Examiner, a Virginia-based federal judge this week tossed the prohibition of purchasing handguns by that particular age group.

Judge Robert E. Payne of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at Richmond made the ruling easy to understand, simply stating that the right to “keep and bear arms" applies to "the people," which includes young adults.

The Examiner explained the original lawsuit that ultimately led to Judge Payne's ruling:

The case, Fraser v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, stemmed from a May 2022 incident. John "Corey" Fraser was denied the ability to purchase a Glock 19x handgun due to his age. He was joined by three other plaintiffs with similar situations, all of whom were above 18 and below 21.

According to the ruling, the plaintiffs argued at the time that "law-abiding, responsible adult citizens who are otherwise qualified to own a handgun and but for the laws at issue, they would purchase a new handgun and handgun ammunition from a federally-licensed firearm dealer."

Bloomberg added:

Restricting the right of 18-to-20-year-olds to buy handguns, via an interlocking collection of federal law and regulations, isn’t supported by the nation’s history and tradition, Payne said. The government presented numerous militia laws from around the time of the nation’s founding, but they showed that 16 or 18 was the age of militia service then, he said.

The federal judge, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush, also stated that the government failed to prove that there were "age-based restrictions on the purchase or sale of firearms from the colonial era, Founding, or Early Republic."

A number of anti-gun groups filed amicus briefs in the case, citing reasons why they think ruling in favor of the plaintiffs would be dangerous.

Pro-Second Amendment advocates cheered the ruling. Should the ruling stick, firearms dealers will presumably be cheering as well, as it will open up a new sales channel that was previous forbidden.

The ruling was both cheered and criticized across social media.

While anti-gun liberals typically only focus on banning "assault weapons" and usually ignore the fact that other types of firearms are often used in mass shootings, after the ruling, they were quick to point out mass shootings that were carried out with handguns.

Only time will tell if the ruling has the staying power, but at the very least, it's a solid first step in protecting the rights of law-abiding young adults.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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