Youth gun ban ruled unconstitutional — Analysis

Appeals court panel strikes down California’s prohibition on sale of semiautomatic weapons to under-21 adults

A US appeals court has found that California’s ban on the sale of semiautomatic rifles to adults under 21 violates the constitutional right of Americans to bear arms.

“America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army,”The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 2-1 majority decision on Wednesday in the matter by Judge Ryan Nelson. “Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice, the right of young adults to keep and bear arms.”

California’s 2018 law banning the sale of shotguns or semiautomatic rifles to Californians under 18 years old was at issue. Handguns were previously prohibited from being sold to anyone under 21 years old.

Kenneth Lee (another judge of the San Francisco appellate courts panel) agreed with Nelson, and stated that the ruling was an important precedent. “California’s legal position has no logical stopping point and would ultimately erode fundamental rights enumerated in our Constitution. Simply put, we cannot jettison our constitutional rights, even if the goal behind it is constitutional rights.”

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Firearms Policy Coalition brought the lawsuit challenging California’s law. They argued that under-21s are only arrested for violent crime.

“Today’s decision confirms that peaceable legal adults cannot be prohibited from acquiring firearms and exercising their rights enshrined in the Second Amendment,” saidAdam Kraut vice president, programs for the coalition “We are pleased to see progress on this important legal front and optimistic that similar results will come from our many other challenges to age-based bans filed in courts across the United States.”

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