Federal Lawsuit Challenges Ban On Gun Ownership For Adults Under 21

Three youths backed by two gun rights groups filed a federal lawsuit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, challenging the statutes requiring a minimum age of 21 for firearm ownership. Madison M. Lara, Logan Miller, and Sophia Knepley said that the existing firearm laws violated their Second and Fourteen Amendment rights.

The three youths from Verona in Allegheny County, Boyertown in Berks County, and Denver in Lancaster County, requested the federal court to declare the age-based restrictions unconstitutional.

The three are members of the Firearms Policy Coalition. The Second Amendment Foundation also joined the suit that names Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Col. Robert Evan as the only defendant.

“We’ve filed this action because the situation in Pennsylvania smacks of discrimination against young adults in the 18- to 20-year-old age group,” said Alan M. Gottlieb, SAF founder, and executive vice president.

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“Young adults can join the military, where they might be assigned to carry firearms all over the world. They can get married, start businesses, enter into contracts, and yet they are not considered mature enough to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. That’s nonsense,” Gottlieb added.

The lawsuit noted that at the time of ratification of the Second Amendment Rights, youths below 21 years were allowed to keep firearms. Additionally, the lawsuit says that “only dangerous persons have historically been deprived of the right to bear arms.” The lawsuit added that youths under 21 would be considered mature if they joined the military.

The lawsuit emerges at an opportune moment when the Second Amendment was among the key subjects surrounding the confirmation of the Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. With the court’s composition changing, SCOTUS would likely make a significant ruling in the future.

Years of research have failed to prove any effectiveness of age-based gun-control. Each study shows a disconnect between age-based restrictions and gun safety. Other multiple studies show that youths are the most vulnerable demographic and are the primary victims of violent homicides and sexual abuse.

Equipping the youths with the tools necessary for self-defense would help reduce the number of youths slain and raped. However, given the current political and social environment in the United States, this is unlikely to happen.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is pushing universal background checks in our state, and if left unchecked, it will not be long until we see bills like this getting traction in Austin. Texas is embarrassingly ranked 29th for gun rights, and with the help of the political elites in Austin, we will surely rank among New York, California, and Illinois if left to their own devices. Please join our fight today, and help us restore Texas' place as the standard for the U.S.

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