Twenty-two state attorneys general have signed on to a lawsuit to support the National Rifle Association's Supreme Court petition to lift a decades-old-ban on the sale of handguns to under 21-year-olds.
"Young adults, many of whom have fought and sacrificed life and limb for their country, should not be prohibited from fully exercising their fundamental Right to Keep and Bear Arms," said Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, in a release from the gun lobby group.
"The Second Amendment should receive no less respect than our other enumerated constitutional freedoms."
The NRA launched its high court appeal
in August arguing that the current law violates the Second Amendment rights of people younger than 21 and contradicts a 2008 ruling that allowed them to carry handguns in self defense.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange filed the brief, noting that most states allow 18-20 year-old adults to exercise this aspect of their Second Amendment rights, and said, "yet Congress has sought to withdraw this liberty from the same class of people."
He contends the Right to Keep and Bear Arms defined by the Founders made it clear that 18 year-olds were considered adults as set out in the Militia Act of 1792, which required 18-year- olds to "be enrolled in the militia" and to arm themselves accordingly.
"The NRA has been engaged in this ongoing fight for years—in Congress, in state legislatures, and in the courts—and we will not rest until the right of every law-abiding American to Keep and Bear Arms is fully protected by nation's laws," Cox said.
In addition to Alabama, the twenty-one states that signed on to the brief include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
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