by Ben Whedon
A federal judge Virginia has struck down a law barring the sale of handguns to adults under the age of 21 as unconstitutional.
John Corey Fraser, 20, and other plaintiffs, had challenged the 1968 Gun Control Act and various regulations from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after they tried to purchase handguns and were refused, ABC News reported.
In a Wednesday decision, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Payne noted that individuals receive numerous constitutional rights and duties at the age of 18 and contended that “the statutes and regulations in question are not consistent with out Nation’s history and tradition.”
“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,” he opined. Payne cited the Supreme Court’s 2022 Bruen decision, which determined that any gun control must be consistent with the country’s history and traditions surrounding firearm regulation.
The judge contended that the government had not shown “any evidence of age-based restrictions on the purchase or sale of firearms from the colonial era, Founding or Early Republic.”
Adults under 21 could already buy handguns from private sellers. Unless Payne’s ruling is overturned, adults aged 18-20 will also be able to purchase handguns from licensed federal firearms dealers.
Elliott Harding, Fraser’s lawyer, indicated that he expected the government to appeal the decision but he was confident the higher courts would uphold Payne’s ruling.
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Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News.
Photo “Gun Store” by Thayne Tuason. CC BY-SA 4.0.