AP Photo/Michael Conroy
California is one of a handful of states that decided to make it illegal for an 18-year-old to exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms in the wake of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The thinking, if you can call it that, is that by banning people under 21 from buying a gun, we will be able to prevent some percentage of mass shootings.
Of course, since most mass shootings committed by people under 21 are carried out with stolen guns anyway, don’t expect such laws to make the least little difference.
Anyway, California passed the law. So did some other states, most notably Florida.
Now, a lawsuit has been filed challenging the law.
Second Amendment right groups sued the state of California Monday over the new law banning the sale of firearms to people under the age of 21.
The groups, the Calguns Foundation and Firearms Policy Coalition, argued in a lawsuit filed in San Diego on behalf of individual gun owners that those 18 and over are adults and have a right to purchase a firearm.
“Once individuals turn eighteen, they are adults in the eyes of the law,” said John W. Dillon, the Carlsbad attorney representing the groups, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“Law-abiding adults are entitled to fully exercise all of their fundamental rights, including their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for all lawful purposes, not just hunting or sport.”
But the lawsuit argues that any adult who isn’t a convicted felon or mentally ill should be allowed to use the Second Amendment.
“The Second Amendment is not a second-class right and adults over the age of eighteen but under twenty-one are not second-class people,” said Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition, according to the Times.
If we’re going to trust 18-year-olds with the ability to sign contracts, enlist in the military, and vote, they should damn well be allowed to purchase a firearm. I’m still upset that we have 21 as the age requirement on handguns, for crying out loud. If they’re adults, treat them as such.
And I say this as someone who will have an 18-year-old son in about a week.
This isn’t because there is some concern that people under 21 are more dangerous or more likely to commit a mass shooting. It’s an excuse. Parkland just gave them an excuse to limit who could purchase a rifle. That’s it. If most of the lawmakers supporting this legislation had their way, no one would ever be able to buy a firearm of any type.
The shooting gave them an excuse to infringe on the rights of a group of Americans — nothing more, nothing less.
In a few years, you’ll look at states that passed these laws and guess what kind of change you’ll see in their crime rates? If you said “none,” give yourself a cookie. But these states won’t repeal these laws either.
With luck, though, this is a moot discussion. Hopefully, the courts will kill this one and all other similar laws across the nation. It’ll be a while, though, because I’d be very surprised to see the Ninth Circuit overturn a law like this. Still, a guy can dream.