Richmond, Virginia, US District Court Judge Finds that the Federal Law Ban the Sale of Handguns to 18 to 20-year-olds Unconstitutional

May 13, 2023 | Court Case

On May 10, 2023, U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Payne has a decision striking down the Federal ban on handgun sales. A copy of his decision is available here.

“Commonsense and logic tell us that, unless one is a maker of guns, the right to “keep”/have a gun necessarily means that one must purchase it, steal it, be given it by another, or find one that another has lost. That, of course, includes a handgun which was the subject “arms” in Heller. 554 U.S. at 628. Thus, given its ordinary, commonsense, and logical meaning the right to “keep arms” (the right to “have”) of necessity includes the right, inter alia, to purchase arms. That then puts an end to the textual inquiry with the conclusion that the conduct at issue is protected by the plain text of the Second Amendment.”

U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Payne, “Fraser v. BATFE, U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82432(Eastern District, Va. May 10, 2023″

This issue is already creating a split among the courts. While there are no direct appellate rulings on the issue, the Fifth, Seventh, and Eleventh circuits have discussed the question. Nat’l Rifle Ass’n., 700 F.3d at 203-04Horsley v. Trame, 808 F.3d 1126, 1131 (7th Cir. 2015)Nat’l Rifle Assoc. v. Bondi, 61 F.4th 1317, 1324 (11th Cir. 2023). The Fourth and the Ninth Circuits have held that 18-to-20-year-olds are part of “the people” protected by the Second Amendment. Hirschfeld v. ATF, 5 F.4th 407 (4th Cir. 2021), vacated by 14 F.4th 322 (4th Cir. 2021)Jones v. Bonta, 34 F.4th 704 (9th Cir. 2022), opinion vacated on reh’g, 47 F.4th 1124 (9th Cir. 2022). District courts have split on the issue.”

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