OAN’s Geraldyn Berry
11:10 AM – Friday, May 12, 2023
An unlawful regulation prohibiting licensed federal weapons dealers from selling handguns to young adults under 21 was found in violation of the Second Amendment, according to a federal judge in Virginia.
The decision made on Wednesday by United States District Court Judge Robert Payne in Richmond would let retailers to sell pistols to customers aged 18 to 21. Many of the duties and privileges of citizenship, such as the ability to vote, enroll in the military without parental consent, and serve on a federal jury, are bestowed at the age of 18, according to Payne’s 71-page decision.
“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,” Payne wrote. “Because the statutes and regulations in question are not consistent with our Nation’s history and tradition, they, therefore, cannot stand.”
In the aftermath of a historic Supreme Court decision last year that altered the standard courts have traditionally used to assess appeals to weapon restrictions, Payne’s judgment is the most recent one to strike down gun prohibitions.
According to the Supreme Court, judges should no longer take into account how well the legislation advances societal goals like strengthening public safety. The Supreme Court stated that in order to prove that a gun limitation is in keeping with the nation’s “historical tradition of firearm regulation,” the government must look back in time.
In the months following that decision, there has been turmoil, and courts have ruled that several laws, including federal ones intended to prevent domestic abusers and defendants under criminal indictment from carrying firearms, as well as a prohibition on doing so, are unconstitutional.
In his decision, Payne mentioned the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision many times and stated that the government had not provided “any evidence of age-based restrictions on the purchase or sale of firearms from the colonial era, Founding or Early Republic.” The absence of such rules during those eras suggests that the “Founders considered age-based regulations on the purchase of firearms to circumscribe the right to keep and bear arms confirmed by the Second Amendment,” the author stated.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 and the related rules from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) were challenged by John Corey Fraser, 20, and other plaintiffs when they were denied access to handgun purchases.
Fraser’s lawyer, Elliott Harding, expressed satisfaction with Payne’s verdict and hope that it will be sustained on appeal.
“Even though it ensures that future buyers can now purchase these firearms in the federal system — one that includes background checks and other requirements — we expect the defendants will appeal,” Harding said.
Harding referred to the present “loophole” that allows 18 to 21-year-olds to purchase pistols from private vendors as being “completely unregulated.”
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