Court Strikes Down California Ban on Gun Sales to People Under 21

A federal appeals court in California ruled on May 11 that a ban on the sale of semiautomatic firearms to adults under the age of 21 was unconstitutional.

In a 2-1 decision, the judges’ panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco found that the ban violated the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to private gun ownership.

“Today, we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms,” Judge Ryan Nelson wrote in the 100-page ruling.

The ruling, however, upheld the state requirement for adults under 21 to have a valid hunting license to purchase rifles or guns.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office said that it was reviewing the ruling.

“California will continue to take all necessary steps to prevent and reduce gun violence. We remain committed to defending California’s commonsense gun laws, which save lives and make our communities safer,” a statement from Bonta’s office said.

California Senator Anthony Portantino, who authored the bill, said on Twitter that he was “disappointed” by the ruling.

“It shows who our judges are matters. As the author of the bill in question, this means we all have to work harder to keep guns out of the wrong hands,” Portantino said.

The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), a gun rights nonprofit group and one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, praised the ruling.

“Today’s decision confirms that peaceable legal adults cannot be prohibited from acquiring firearms and exercising their rights enshrined in the Second Amendment,” FPC Vice President of Programs Adam Kraut said in a statement.


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