In the wake of Parkland, one of the more popular measures with anti-gun lawmakers was to create a requirement that you had to be 21-years-old to purchase a long gun. While federal law only restricted handguns to those over 21, several states took it a step further in a bit of knee-jerk reactionism that made every gun-rights supporter cringe.
Now, though, California’s version of that law is being challenged.
The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a motion with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking an injunction against a section of California’s penal code that prohibits young adults, ages 18-20 from purchasing or acquiring firearms.
SAF is joined by the California Gun Rights Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc., PWGG, LP., North County Shooting Center, Inc., Beebe Family Arms and Munitions, LLC and three private citizens all within the affected age group at the time the lawsuit was filed. The case is known as Jones v. Becerra.
As noted in the court documents, the California statute “categorically bars them from purchasing or acquiring all semi-automatic centerfire rifles based solely on their age. Taken in combination with existing state and federal laws barring 18-to-20-year-olds from acquiring handguns, the result of the challenged provision is that the vast majority of firearms—including the firearms most useful for self-defense—are now off-limits to law-abiding Californians in this age bracket. That age-based firearm ban must be enjoined, for the Second Amendment takes such a draconian infringement of the right to keep and bear arms ‘off the table.’”
“We’re challenging this law because it clearly violates the Second and Fourteenth amendment rights of young adults,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “When a citizen turns 18 years old in this country, he or she is considered a legal adult, free to exercise their rights under the Constitution, and that certainly should include the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
“The Jones case and our other lawsuits challenging age-based bans are about fighting for the rights of America’s young adults, protecting the rights and liberties of future generations, and restoring the Second Amendment for all individuals,” said FPC President Brandon Combs.
The 82-page brief was filed by attorneys David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson, John D. Ohlendorf, and Haley N. Proctor of the Washington, DC-based firm Cooper & Kirk PLLC.
Honestly, this is one gun control measure that I’m quite sure will be struck down, even in the ninth circuit.
See, for me, the problem here is that you’re telling legal adults they don’t get their full set of constitutionally-protected rights until much later. Sure, you can vote, serve in the military, sign contracts in your own name, or any number of other things that mark you as an adult in our society, but the one thing you can’t do is own any kind of firearm.
If people are adults, they’re adults.
For the life of me, I can’t comprehend how this law won’t be overturned, though I could say that about any bit of gun control. What I sincerely hope to see, though, is this worm it’s way up to the Supreme Court where it will hopefully kill all such laws throughout the nation.
There are a lot of adults being denied their constitutionally-protected rights because of these laws. Watching them go down in flames will be pretty satisfying.