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Why can't 18-year-olds buy a handgun?

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POSTED: Friday, September 17, 2010 - 9:24pm

UPDATED: Sunday, March 6, 2011 - 7:08pm

If you can serve in the military at 18, why can’t you drink? That’s the age-old teenager’s lament.
But what about buying a pistol? That’s the question one young man is asking.
 

Federal law prohibits a licensed gun dealer from selling a handgun to anyone under 21, although you can buy a rifle or shotgun at 18.
 

But is that constitutional? One teenager in Lubbock wants the courts to decide…
 

The Bill of Rights enumerates in 10 amendments, the rights our founding fathers felt were guaranteed to every American.
 

So, can the government put an age limit on the purchase of a particular kind of gun and not violate the second amendment?
 

18-year-old James D’Cruz of Lubbock is asking that question in a lawsuit. His argument is…
 

"If you can ask somebody to go off and serve in the military and perhaps die,” says Mack Woods of the Shootist Gunshop, “or be grievously wounded in the process, but they can't go into a bar and buy a beer. They can't come into a gun store, where they can buy a rifle that can hold a hundred rounds of high caliber ammunition, but they can't buy a handgun.
 

“All of our constitutional rights like the first amendment and the fifth amendment, apply to young adults at the age of 18,” says attorney David Thompson of the National Rifle Association.
Peter Hamm of the Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence.
 

“The problem with his suit is that the Supreme Court in the 2 decisions that they’ve made in regard to the meaning of the second Amendment, showed that that right is very narrow,” he told us. “And that all sorts of restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms are presumptively lawful.”
 

“We certainly agree that age restrictions are permissible,” Thompson says, “and this case involves an 18-year-old. And our position is that that’s the age at which young people become adults in this country.”
 

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at age 18 , you can die for your country, die in prison but you cant own a gun or drink a beer. what the hell!!

As a 33 year old military member (stationed currently at Fort Carson), I wish they would up the age of enlistees to 21 as well. In today's day, when kids are no longer forced to grow up, young soldiers are entering the ranks with almost no discipline or maturity at all.

Sir, I'm 18 and going into the army in august. I honestly don't see myself having a successful life without the opportunity to join now.

any one that is willing to fight and mabe die for this country at 18- should dam well be able to buy a hand gun or buy a drink. Why dont they restrict anyone under 21 to not be able to join the military? yet they want to be able to prevent 18 yr olds from having the right to defend themselvs.God save us all, Obama wont. Remington.

At 17 I was flying as a radio operator on a Navy anti-sub bomber. Couldn't buy a drink or a handgun' but could fly thousands of hours before becoming 21. Where's the logic. It sucks now as it did then.

As a 20 year old in Vietnam that couldn't buy a drink in the club, I thought it was a crock.

Looking back on it from age 65, I feel that my initial assessment was correct.

i would support an active duty soldier to purchase a handgun and drink beer, if you can fight for america, then you should have all the rights that come with it.

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