In the U.S., individuals are considered adults when they turn 18. That means they are able to vote, purchase tobacco products, and even buy a gun — in most states.
California’s legislature enacted a new law in January 2019 that denies anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing or owning a long gun. This comes after the Parkland shooting in Florida, in which a 19-year old gunman opened fire at a school. Apparently, that single act by an outlier of society was enough to condemn all under-21’s in the state of California because it didn’t take long to get that law in place.
Fortunately, gun rights advocates in the state are taking up the charge and pushing to have the law overturned.
Constitutional Rights Should Stand
In the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, the legal voting age was dropped from 21 years to 18 years for Americans. For generations, 18-year olds have been serving their country by joining the military — where they are often issued a firearm. It’s unclear whether California lawmakers will attempt to further reduce the rights of young adults during this critical period in United States history. When the fundamental rights of some Americans are restricted without due process of law, then everyone loses.
“Friendly” California Courts
While most people wouldn’t think about California courts being friendly to gun-rights groups, this particular lawsuit has been filed by a coalition of advocacy groups in the Southern California District. This is the same courts where Judge Roger Benitez historically overturned the ban on magazines that have a larger number of bullets in them. It is hoped that this particular lawsuit will receive the same favorable response in this district. There are several other state laws that are named in the lawsuit, all of which are aimed at restricting the Second Amendment rights of individuals. Individuals under the age of 21 have been banned from purchasing handguns for quite some time in the left-leaning state.
Self-Defense versus Hunting
Oddly enough, the law allows individuals who have a valid hunting license and those who are serving in the armed forces exceptions — for now. However, this leaves out a wide swath of the population who wish to have a firearm for personal safety reasons and do not particularly want to obtain their hunting license. This leaves the law open to a fair amount of interpretation, which may be one of the legal arguments as this case moves through the courts.
California continues to reduce and restrict the rights of law-abiding individuals, while criminals continue to scour the state and wreak havoc on the unprotected populace. Fortunately, California gun owners and advocates are fighting back in a way that is making national headlines and bringing attention to the plight of gun-owning Californians.