The Supreme Court's ruling in NYSRPA v Bruen continues to reshape America's gun laws in monumental ways. This recent ruling by a District Court Judge in Virginia addresses an oddity in the law that always puzzled me, and I'm sure puzzled you as well. Judge Robert Payne addressed the federal law restricting 18-20-year-olds from purchasing handguns through federally licensed firearm dealers.
Barring 18-20-Year-Olds From Purchasing Handguns Unconstitutional—
The case is Fraiser, et al v. ATF, and the 4 plaintiffs in that case say that they tried to purchase a handgun, and a federal firearms dealer (FFL) denied the purchase based solely on their age. Plaintiffs were all over 18 years and under 21 years of age when they attempted to purchase the handguns. All were law-abiding citizens, had no criminal history and could otherwise purchase firearms.
Judge Payne ruled on the case in May of this year, denying the State's motion to dismiss the case, and granting plaintiffs' summary judgement. Here is our post explaining more of the details in that case. Prohibiting 18-20 Year Olds From Purchasing Handguns Unconstitutional, Federal Judge Says
Update in the Case Fraiser v. ATF—
Appeals are customary, especially in impactful rulings such as this one. The plaintiffs and the State could not agree on terms of a restraining order that would bridge the gap while the state appeals Judge Payne's ruling. So on August 30th, Judge Payne intervened. He wrote:
If the Court were to exclude 18-to-20-year-olds from the Second Amendment’s protection, it would impose limitations on the Second Amendment that do not exist with other constitutional guarantees…
Because the statutes and regulations in question are not consistent with our Nation’s history and tradition, they, therefore, cannot stand…
For the reasons set forth above, PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR DECLATORY JUDGEMENT (ECF No. 57) will be granted and DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR ENTRY OF JUDGEMENT IN A SEPARATE ORDER (ECF No. 53) will be denied.
What This Means—
The ruling is monumental because it further solidifies the rubric by which courts determine the constitutionality of dubious gun control laws. Prior to the ruling, 18-20-year-olds could possess a handgun, and where legal, can even purchase one through a private party sale. The only thing they couldn't do was purchase a handgun through an FFL. Which is odd, because as Payne points out, requires a background check, whereas a private party sale does not.
Aren't gun control advocates always pushing more background checks?
And as pointed out in the other post, 18-20-year-olds can purchase long guns, fight America's endless wars without asking their parents for permission, vote for the most influential leader in the world, sign up with the Government for student loans they will likely pay on for decads, and get tried as an adult and go to a big boy or girl's prison. It seems odd that the law prohibits them from purchasing a handgun in a gun store.
We're certainly not done hearing about Frasier et al. v ATF. In the meantime, continue to do diligent research on who you vote for at every level of office in local and national elections. Bogus gun control legislation is crumbling across the country, but the attack from those who would disarm the public won't stop.
September is, national preparedness month. As a gun owner, have you thought about what areas of your preparedness mindset could use a renewing? 2023 National Preparedness Month Starts Tomorrow