Federal Court overturns gun rights ruling on restriction on buyers under 21

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A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday dismissed a previous ruling it had made that found that the ban on buyers of firearms under the age of 21 was unconstitutional.

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that its previous July ruling was now moot, as the two plaintiffs in that case recently turned 21, Reuters reported. Circuit judge Julius Richardson has said rescinding the ruling he previously drafted would be in the public interest as it would pave the way for more litigation in the future.

The federal judge said the public and legal communities would benefit from this action, as “the exchange of ideas between the panel and the dissent will remain available as a persuasive source.”

In July, the court ruled that the minimum age of 21 to buy a gun was unconstitutional.

“Looking through this historical lens, the text and structure of the Constitution reveals that young people between the ages of 18 and 20 have Second Amendment rights. Virtually all other constitutional rights apply regardless of age. And the Second Amendment is no different, ”Richardson wrote in the ruling.

While noting “the strong interest in reducing crime and violence,” Richardson said the court would “not relegate either the Second Amendment or 18-20 year olds to second-class status.”

“The militia laws in effect at the time of ratification uniformly required those 18 and over to join the militia and bring their own weapons. Although some historical restrictions existed, none allow the conclusion that 18-year-olds do not have Second Amendment rights, ”he wrote.

Reuters noted that the Biden administration had asked the court to reconsider this ruling, but with the ruling being overturned, that request is also moot.


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