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Young Gun Owners Score Huge 2nd Amendment Victory in Virginia

A federal judge in Virginia ruled that a set of federal laws and regulations forbidding adults under 21 years of age from purchasing handguns from federally licensed firearm dealers are unconstitutional.

Four adult men under the age of 21 who want to purchase handguns argued that the laws and regulations violate the 2nd Amendment.

U.S. Senior District Judge Robert Payne ruled in favor of the young men.

“Because the statutes and regulations in question are not consistent with our Nation’s history and tradition, they, therefore, cannot stand,” Judge Robert Payne wrote in his opinion.

The Washington Post reported:

Attorneys on both sides of the case said they expected the Justice Department to appeal the decision and request a stay, which would prevent Payne’s ruling from taking immediate effect while higher courts weigh the case.

Although 18- to 20-year-olds previously could buy handguns in private sales — or have a parent purchase a weapon for them — the decision Wednesday, if left unchallenged, would dismantle a legal framework that for decades has prevented licensed dealers from selling handguns to “to teenagers,” said William T. Clark, an attorney with the Giffords Law Center, which filed an amicus brief in the case calling for the laws at issue to be upheld.

“It’s a significant decision — we disagree with the outcome,” Clark said, adding that “there is compelling scientific evidence showing that teenagers are more impulsive and face unique elevated dangers from firearms.”

Payne, who was nominated to the bench by President George H.W. Bush, repeatedly cited the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, a ruling from the high court’s conservative majority that expanded the right to bear arms last year.

CBS News added:

Payne noted that other rights enshrined in the Constitution, including the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments “vest before the age of 21,” and said no federal appellate court or the Supreme Court “has squarely determined that the Second Amendment’s rights vest at age 21.”

“If the court were to exclude 18-to-21-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 said.

Payne continued: “The Second Amendment’s protections apply to 18-to-20-year-olds. By adopting the Second Amendment, the people constrained both the hands of Congress and the courts to infringe upon this right by denying ordinary law-abiding citizens of this age the full enjoyment of the right to keep and bear arms unless the restriction is supported by the Nation’s history. That is what Bruen tells us.”

The Justice Department can appeal Payne’s decision and ask for it to be put on hold while legal proceedings continue.

Read the full 71-page decision HERE.


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