On May 12, 2023, a federal judge in Virginia declared that the current federal laws that prohibit the sale of handguns to individuals under 21 years of age were unconstitutional. The decision was influenced by the recent expansion of gun rights by the Supreme Court and the judge’s belief that the laws were not consistent with the nation’s history and customs. However, the ruling will not be implemented until the judge issues a final order in the coming weeks, and it is anticipated that the Department of Justice will contest the ruling.
Under the status quo, we had a two-tier system for law-abiding citizens of legal age. Some got full rights and others didn’t.
— Jack Hunter (@jackhunter74) May 12, 2023
The decision will not impact the 19 states that already have their own laws preventing handgun sales to those under 21 years old. This ruling is a significant triumph for law-abiding adults who were unable to purchase handguns in the United States, granting them fairer access to firearms, as they could previously only buy shotguns and rifles.
The most recent Second Amendment case that the Supreme Court addressed was NYSRPA vs Bruen. The Court’s decision established that gun control laws must have a historical precedent from around the time of the nation’s founding to be considered constitutional. This ruling carries significant weight for individuals affected by the decision, particularly those who could potentially be drafted into the military to defend rights they were never able to fully exercise themselves.
While the Department of Justice is expected to appeal the ruling, it is improbable that it will be overturned unless new historical evidence is presented. Without such evidence, there is no reason to believe that the Founding Fathers would have approved of such a restriction on gun rights.
Ending this prohibition was clearly the right move, as it creates a more equal system for law-abiding citizens of legal age. It also provides those impacted by this ruling with access to firearms for self-defense, which is a fundamental right that should be enjoyed by all citizens.