ABSTRACT

Can the Government Prohibit 18-Year-Olds from Purchasing Firearms? [March 13, 2018]   [open pdf - 394KB]

"On March 9, 2018, Florida enacted new gun control legislation in the wake of a mass shooting at a Parkland high school by a 19-year-old former student. Shortly after the Florida measure was signed into law, the National Rifle Association (NRA) filed suit in federal court seeking to enjoin a provision of the Florida statute, which renders it a felony for a person under the age of 21 to purchase a firearm. The NRA contends that the provision is an unconstitutional infringement upon the rights of 18-to-20-year-olds to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. Reviewing courts have held that some age-based restrictions on firearms purchases by persons under 21 are permissible, including federal restrictions on commercial dealers selling handguns to persons under 21 and juveniles under the age of 18 possessing a handgun. But Florida's blanket prohibition on 18-to-20-year-olds purchasing any firearm may go further than many measures that reviewing courts have previously upheld, raising the possibility that the NRA's legal challenge to the restriction may clarify jurisprudence on whether and how the Second Amendment applies to persons under 21."

Report Number:
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10098
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2018-03-13
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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