Do you own a handgun? If so, did you yourself purchase it? Did you do so before you turned 21? And, regardless, do you believe a person in the 18 to 20 year-old range has a constitutional right to acquire small weapons that fire bullets?
Congress, in the waning days of President Lyndon Johnson, seems to have thought not. It then passed a law, the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, that made "unlawful" any sale of a "firearm" that "is other than a shotgun or rifle . . . to any individual who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than twenty-one years of age".
In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court held that the second amendment to the United States Constitution confers an individual right to "keep and bear Arms". Does the second amendment trump the federal statute?
No, the Fifth Circuit ruled this week. Using "intermediate" review of the law, the panel concluded that worries about the maturity and judgment of younger persons supported Congress's decision to ban sales of handguns to them. Nat'l Rifle Ass'n of Am. v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, No. 11-10959 (5th Cir. Oct. 25, 2012).