The National Rifle Association lost a court battle Tuesday when a federal appeals court refused to hear its challenge to a ban on handgun sales for purchasers under 21.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans voted 8-7 not to rehear the case before the full court, The Washington Times reports
. One day earlier, a three-judge panel unanimously declined to rehear the case.
“Congress could have sought to prohibit all persons under 21 from possessing handguns — or all guns, for that matter,” wrote Judge Edward C. Prado in the majority opinion. “But Congress deliberately adopted a calibrated, compromise approach.”
In her dissent, Judge Edith H. Jones wote, “Never in the modern era has the Supreme Court held that a fundamental constitutional right could be abridged for a law-abiding adult class of citizens. Moreover, the implications of the decision — that a whole class of adult citizens, who are not as a class felons or mentally ill, can have its constitutional rights truncated because Congress considers the class ‘irresponsible’ — are far-reaching,
The law still allows adults under 21 to buy rifles or shotguns, and they can possess handguns if given to them as gifts by family members.
The case was brought by the NRA and several people between the ages of 18-20 against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
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