Why can't 18-year-olds buy a handgun?
POSTED: Friday, September 17, 2010 - 8:24pm
UPDATED: Sunday, March 6, 2011 - 6:08pm
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.”