NRA Argues People Under 21 Should Be Able to Buy a Handgun

While America is reeling from yet another mass shooting, the United States Supreme Court is preparing to begin its new term in October. At the end of this month, they will  review the petitions before them and decide which cases they’ll review.

One of those petitions is from the National Rifle Association.

On the heels of claiming that the best way to respond to school shootings is by arming teachers, the NRA is continuing their goal by making sure more people can get guns as easily as possible. They are currently fighting for the rights of the latest segment of the population that are being denied their Second Amendment rights – 18, 19, and 20-year-olds.

Current federal law prohibits anyone under 21 from buying a handgun from a federally licensed gun dealer. They can, however, legally obtain a gun under other circumstances, such as private sales or from a parent or guardian. In fact, they can already buy rifles and shotguns from licensed gun dealers. However, the NRA and their two 19-year-old petitioners think that the law denies them their Second Amendment right when they are unable to buy a handgun as well.

The Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 carves out specific limitations for those under 21 when it comes to accessing guns. A circuit court ruled that while the age group had a Second Amendment right to own a gun, Congress had the right to limit the circumstances under which that happened – especially since younger people tend to be irresponsible and prone to violence.

The statistics and studies back them up.

Homicide and suicide are already the second and third leading causes of death respectively for those aged 15-24. The majority of these deaths are by firearms. Additionally, studies of the teenage brain show that it is still developing the parts that are crucial to considering the consequences of their actions and insight. Researchers believe that that portion of the brain isn’t fully developed until the mid-20s.

Gun violence statistics decline after age 25.

None of that matters to the NRA, or the 21 state attorney generals (only 20 of them are Republican) who have filed “friend of the court” briefs in support of the NRA’s petition. They feel the fact that this class of people are being disparaged by being called immature and prone to violence and should in fact be allowed to protect themselves by buying handguns from federally licensed gun dealers.

They even argue that these young people are allowed to handle guns in the military. They leave out the part that they do so after they are properly trained, issued a firearm and instructed to use it in a specific situation like, perhaps, a war.

They also don’t mention how allowing more people to buy handguns from gun dealers helps…gun dealers.

It has been three years since SCOTUS last reviewed a guns rights case. They have specifically refused to hear six challenges to federal and state laws since 2010. In 2008, their ruling in District of Columbia v Heller was a personal Second Amendment right to self defense. The current petition, NRA v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, seeks to extend that right to people under 21.

We’ll find out on September 30th if the court will allow them to argue the case.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Chris B.
Chris Babout a month ago

I'm 20 years old, I am an adult in the eyes of the law, and I am sufficiently trained to handle firearms. However I cannot purchase a handgun? But can get an AR15? And there are guys 5 years younger than me running around the streets of Camden New Jersey with illegally obtained handguns but I still cannot obtain one legally through a gun dealer. I'll let you know that this law has done nothing to prevent suicide from firearms as this law has been in effect since the 60's, so those people shooting themselves are likely doing it with their parents or someone else's gun. All you idiots are doing is hindering people their second amendment rights

Craig R.
Craig R6 months ago

thanks for the article.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven6 months ago

thanks for the article.

GGma Sheila D.
GGmaSheila D3 years ago

Of all the idiotic, irresponsible ideas from the NRA, this takes the prize. So sick of the NRA and cronies, including SCOTUS and our own Congress being on the side of eapons hat kill, rather than on the sides of victims, their families...and the rest of the sane people out there. I do not include in sanity those who feel assault weapons should be easy to get...still can not figure out exactly what, besides us, the hunters hunt with them.

Craig R.
Craig R3 years ago

Robby, your facts are straight out of the NRA propaganda playbook. One of the NRA's favorite tactics to minimize the nation's gun death/injury rate, is to quote FBI gun crime statistics. But that's not the whole truth and nothing but the truth. FBI crime statistics don't take into account the gun death/injuries from children shooting children, suicides, accidents and more. When all gun death/injuries are taken into account, the U.S. has the highest gun death/injury rate of all developed nations.

Another favorite NRA meme that is coming more into vogue is to refer to guns as "inanimate objects" in an effort to disguise their true purpose. Why not call them "inorganic objects"? It's a silly semantic exercise designed to obfuscate. Just as silly as suggesting that the answer to our gun problems is more guns. If more guns were the answer, then we wouldn't have the above mentioned, shameful national gun death/injury rates that rivals all other civilized, developed nations. Nice try but we've heard your rationalizations before as well read them on bumper stickers.

Robby K.
Past Member 3 years ago

Actually Craig- gun crime in the US is not increasing. It's actually decreasing over the last 20yrs. And when you consider our population is DEFINITELY growing (especially w/illegal aliens) then gun violence is definitely dropping, per capita. Here's an interesting page to read, if you genuinely care...

Please read through the gray box that asks "Is hate a liberal value?" It's a short but informative read. No, it's not a liberal bash, as that one box title may have you believe. And it doesn't say that if everyone In the world owned a gun, it would be a utopia, either. But it shows some interesting things.
Again, people have to have something to be scared of, & to hate. Right now, so many here are just plain scared of guns. If one is SO scared, then one may need to go rent one at a certified gun store & take a class & learn something about them. Then they'd realize that these inanimate objects are of no danger to you w/out evil people using them against you (w/the occasional accident from either stupidity or other- just like cars, buses, construction sites, etc). And remember, criminals will never turn their guns in. So either be ready to fight them on their terms, or suffer the consequences should you be so unfortunate to cross one.

Del Rykert
Del Rykert3 years ago

Craig R. Bestial Devastation ? is that what you are referring? It does appear to me that you are confused about the ILA recognizing the critical need for political defense of the Second Amendment, NRA formed the Institute for Legislative Action, or ILA.
that sir is a seperate branch that you take disdain with. With your status with the orginazation you realize their purpose .... To claim all the good deeds they do, DON'T count, makes your posts less credable.

Craig R.
Craig R3 years ago

Del R. To answer your question, can I make the same claims as you, yes I'm a voting member as well. And I know much more about the organization that is damning too, but I don't have the time to list all the evidence here. I also know that all of your claims of the teaching of safe handling, competitions, blah blah blah, have done nothing to stop the escalating gun carnage that is the shame of our nation. Maybe it's easy for you to ignore the slaughter of law abiding men, women and children due to the complicity of the NRA in your efforts to whitewash the organization.

If you're going to try and paint the NRA out as an upstanding, patriotic organization by citing their supposed good deeds, then you should also cite the harm they've done to our nation and Constitution by blocking gun safety measures at every turn through their irresponsible use of the 2nd Amendment. Since you claim to know so much about the NRA, can you name one gun regulation that they've supported without obstruction/loopholing in recent history after their takeover by Harlan Carter?

BTW speaking of places where the sun never shines, I can recommend a very competent psycho-proctologist who specializes in cranial rectal removal for you. You're in dire need of the procedure, sir.

Del Rykert
Del Rykert3 years ago

Craig R.... For your purview sir.. I am a voting member and vote to elect the board members... Can you make the same claim sir? I know a great deal more regarding the organization and its true origins that I have the time to post on the Care 2 Forum. Do you have a clue how many people they help teach the safe way to handle weapons? How many competitions they help promote and the news worthy reporting they take the time to show some of the positive things common citizens do with their legally owned firearms? You truly should remove your head from where the sun never shines before spouting off misconeptions that the alarmists spread. Del R

Craig R.
Craig R3 years ago

Del R., You couldn't be more wrong. Your comment is so full of inaccuracies that it's ludicrous. And that doesn't count the name calling and personal attacks. In fact it is you who is "clueless" about the NRA. The NRA that you describe ended in 1975. That was the year that a convicted murderer, Harlan Carter, took it over and turned it into the extremist organization it is today.

In 1975, Carter became the leader of the newly created NRA Institute of Legislative Action and is widely considered to be the leader of a movement to turn the National Rifle Association into a right-wing political organization, as opposed to an organization largely focused on hunting as it had been in the past.

Moreover, the NRA is a bought and paid for shill for gun manufacturers who have contributed up to $38.9 million to the NRA since 2005. Those numbers, however, are based on publicly listed “sponsorship” levels on NRA fundraising pamphlets. The real figures could be much bigger.

You need to do a little more studying of the issues before you comment on matters you know little to nothing about especially if you're going to accuse those who disagree with you as being "cluesless ".