At the end of October, the fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas rejected the National Rifle Association's argument that 18-20 year olds had a right to buy guns under the Second Amendment. It also rejected the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment. The U.S. may ban federally licensed firearms dealers from selling guns to anyone under the age of 21.
A unanimous three-judge panel said Congress, in a law dating from 1968, adopted the sales ban to help curb violent crime. It also said that the nation's founders and 19th-century courts and commentators believed that disarming specific groups did not trample on the right to bear arms.
"Congress was focused on a particular problem: young persons under 21, who are immature and prone to violence, easily accessing handguns," mainly from licensed dealers, Judge Edward Prado wrote for the panel.
"The present ban appears consistent with a longstanding tradition of age- and safety-based restrictions on the ability to access arms," he added.
The ruling upholds the September 2011 ruling by District Judge Sam Cummings in Lubbock, Texas.
"We are disappointed," said David Thompson, who represents the NRA. "The ruling is inconsistent with the Supreme Court's opinion in Heller, and we are considering all of our appellate options."
Judge Prado, who was appointed to the Fifth Circuit by President George W. Bush, said, "The government has satisfied its burden of showing a reasonable means-ends fit between the challenged federal laws and an important government interest."
However, this law does not prevent 18-20 year olds from using handguns or carrying them, just purchasing them. Can anyone say "inconsistent?" This is ridiculous. If an 18-20 year old is allowed to carry and fire a firearm, then they should be assumed responsible enough to purchase the weapon.
In addition, I believe those that begin to teach their children early gun safety and how to effectively use them when they are young will help to mature said offspring. My children learn very early about firearms and firearms safety, but they also learn how to use them, some more effectively than others. As long as we continue to promote prolonged adolescence like this, then we can expect more of it.
Finally, the issue that the Second Amendment is considered a right is in question, at least by this judge and his court.