Proposed Gun Sale Ban For Citizens Under 21 Unlikely To Withstand Judicial Review

A prominent gun control measure proposed by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers is unlikely to withstand judicial scrutiny, considering recent precedent.

Many of the perpetrators of recent mass shootings were below the age of 21, including the Uvalde  and Buffalo shooters, aged 18, and the Parkland shooter, aged 19.

Federal law already prohibits the sale of pistols to citizens under 21, but young adults can purchase rifles in 44 states — and some are calling for new legislation that would change that.

Representative Adam Kinzinger called the proposed measure a “no-brainer”, stating that. “We know that the human brain develops and matures a lot between the ages of 18 and 21. We just raised, without really so much as a blink, the age of purchasing cigarettes federally to 21.”

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger tells @jonkarl that raising minimum age for gun purchases to 21 “is a no brainer” to him.

“If you look at the Parkland shooting, you look at Buffalo, you look at this shooting, these are people under the age of 21.”

— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) May 29, 2022

However, earlier this month the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a very similar restriction in California, which banned the sale of semi-automatic rifles to young adults, with the 2-1 majority arguing that the policy constituted an arbitrary violation of the 2nd amendment rights of adult citizens.

“America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army,” Judge Ryan D. Nelson wrote for the majority. “Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms.”

With consensus on the bench shifting towards a broader defense of gun rights, age based restrictions on the right to purchase long guns seem unlikely to stand.

Adam Winkler, a law professor  commenting on the California case for the Los Angeles Times, called the 9th circuit’s ruling “ a harbinger of things to come,” stating that “In the coming years, the courts seem certain to strike down numerous gun safety measures in the name of the 2nd Amendment.”

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