Court Battles

Federal court vacates gun rights ruling on restricting buyers under 21

A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday threw out a previous ruling it had made that found a ban on gun buyers under 21 to be unconstitutional.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that its previously ruling in July was now moot because the two plaintiffs in the case had recently turned 21, Reuters reported. Judge Julius Richardson said vacating the ruling he had previously authored would serve the public’s interest as it would make way for further litigation in the future.

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

In July, the court had ruled the 21 minimum age requirement to purchase a gun was unconstitutional.

“Looking through this historical lens to the text and structure of the Constitution reveals that 18- to 20-year-olds have Second Amendment rights. Virtually every other constitutional right applies whatever the age. And the Second Amendment is no different,” Richardson had written in the ruling.

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

“The militia laws in force at the time of ratification uniformly required those 18 and older to join the militia and bring their own arms. While some historical restrictions existed, none support finding that 18-year-olds lack rights under the Second Amendment,” he wrote.

Reuters noted that the Biden administration had asked the court to reconsider this decision; however, with the ruling being vacated, that request is also moot.

Tags Age requirements Gun politics in the United States Law Second Amendment to the United States Constitution United States federal law

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