"It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken man." - Frederick Douglass

Handgun Sales Rules Banning People Under 21 Ignites Conflict


A federal appeals court ruled the regulations establishing a minimum of 21 years of age for buying handguns from licensed dealers breach the Second Amendment of the Constitution on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. However, the current ruling may conflict with whether this action of banning the sale of a handgun to those under 21 is unconstitutional or not since the justices of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, did not reach a consensus.

What is the Divide?

The restrictions on handguns to the minimum age of 21 years old were believed to be unconstitutional by the divided three-justice panel of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The majority’s stance in this divide was written by Judge Julius N. Richardson, who was appointed by Donald Trump. The majority declared the laws downgraded “either the Second Amendment or 18 to 20-year-olds to a second-class status.”

The Constitutional Right Still Applies

Richardson, whose decision was joined by Judge G. Steven Agee, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote that based on history and the structure and text of the Consitution of the U.S., it is known that “18 to 20-year-olds have Second Amendment rights.” In addition, he declared that practically every other right of the Constitution is in effect “whatever the age. And the Second Amendment is no different.”

Possibility of Going To The Supreme Court

The decision of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court could be appealed and go to the Supreme Court for further review. The possibility of the Supreme Court getting involved in the case heightens if the position taken on Tuesday is allowed to persist, according to David Kopel, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.

The Further Debate

HandgunGun control laws in the U.S. Fourth Circuit case were tested in court by potential gun buyers who, at that time, were not permitted to buy handguns because of the federal age limit. They filed a lawsuit that pinpointed multiple restrictions passed by Congress with a law from 1968 and other similar restrictions that prohibit gun dealers from profiting from people under twenty-one.

During this occurrence, lawmakers referenced research revealing those under 21 were participants in gun violence and crime at high and disproportionate rates. In contrast, the opinion of the Fourth U.S. Circuit majority remarked recently on Tuesday the privileges and rights of more than ninety-nine percent of a particular group should not be prohibited due to a portion of one percent performing a “disproportionate amount of violent crime.”

The debate of the handgun sale ban to people under 21 is or is not unconstitutional.

Written by Ke’Lena Thomas
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware


CNN: Handgun sale ban to under 21-year-olds is unconstitutional, appeals court says; by Tierney Sneed

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Source: https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/13/politics/handgun-appeals-court/index.html