Thursday, October 25, 2012

5th Circuit Affirms Ban On Sale Of Handguns To 18-20 Year Olds

In a decision released today, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the District Court opinion of Judge Sam Cummings that banning sales of handguns by FFLs to those over 18 but under 21 is legal. This case, originally named D'Cruz v. BATFE and now titled Jennings et al v. BATFE, was brought in US District Court for the Northern District of Texas back in September 2010 by the National Rifle Association.

According to a Reuters report on the 5th Circuit's decision:
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Houston rejected the NRA's argument that 18- to 20-year-olds had a right to buy the guns under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment.

A unanimous three-judge panel said Congress, in a law dating from 1968, adopted the sales ban to help curb violent crime. It also said that the nation's founders and 19th-century courts and commentators believed that disarming specific groups did not trample on the right to bear arms.

"Congress was focused on a particular problem: young persons under 21, who are immature and prone to violence, easily accessing handguns," mainly from licensed dealers, Judge Edward Prado wrote for the panel.

"The present ban appears consistent with a longstanding tradition of age- and safety-based restrictions on the ability to access arms," he added.  
You may remember that the Brady Campaign and other gun prohibitionist played gutter politics with this case. They accused James D'Cruz, then a freshman at Texas Tech, of having a Facebook page filled with "angry, violent Facebook postings." D'Cruz was further demonized by Josh Horwitz of CSGV who said "he's a poster boy for why we should prevent handgun sales to those under 21 years of age" and implied that he sounded like a school shooter.

The full 41 page opinion of the 5th Circuit can be found here. I have not had time to read it but hope to have an update posted after I have done so.


  1. The court just said the state can disarm a militia member of a weapon suitable for militia use without finding of criminal guilt or redress by appeal.

    13 USC Sec. 311.

    Militia: composition and classes

    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
    (b) The classes of the militia are -
    (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
    (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.