Two Under-21 Men Sue Federal Government for Handgun Rights
A lawsuit challenging the federal ban on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition to adults under 21 years of age was filed in federal court last week.
The plaintiffs are two Louisiana men, Caleb Reese and Joseph Granich, who are adults and legally able to buy rifles and shotguns but want to legally purchase handguns, which are prohibited to them under federal law as they are not yet 21 years old. The men are members of the Firearms Policy Coalition, Second Amendment Foundation, and the Louisiana Shooting Association-- gun rights organizations that have joined them in the suit against the federal government as co-plaintiffs.
"While both of these young men were able to vote in the recent national elections, and they can pursue other activities as legal adults, they are prevented by law from purchasing and using handguns,” said SAF founder, Alan Gottlieb. "They can join the military and defend the nation, possibly at the risk of losing their lives. They can enter into contracts, start businesses, get married, and even run for office. Preventing them from legally purchasing and owning handguns seems rather silly, and we believe their rights as adult citizens are being violated."
Named as defendants in the lawsuit are the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the agency's Acting Director Regina Lombardo, as well as U.S. Attorney General William Barr, in their official capacities. The plaintiffs argue the Second Amendment doesn't come with age restrictions between rifle and pistol ownership.
“Adults over the age of 18 have the full protection of all rights under the Constitution,” said attorney Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy. “But the federal government’s ban singles out their Second Amendment rights for especially unfavorable treatment. And our nation’s history and tradition show that adults under the age of 21 not only have the same Second Amendment rights as those over the age of 21, they were often required to keep and bear arms.
"We look forward to striking down this unconstitutional ban and providing millions of individuals with access to their constitutional rights.”