A federal appeals court has struck down a California law prohibiting the sale of semiautomatic weapons to young adults in a major blow to anti-gun zealots, potentially leading the way for laws in other states that impose similar age restrictions to be rolled back.
On Wednesday, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the law which bans the sale of the firearms to those under 21-years-old is unconstitutional and that a San Diego judge should have blocked what it called “an almost total ban on semiautomatic centerfire rifles,” finding the law in violation of the Second Amendment.
“America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army,” wrote Judge Ryan Nelson in the 2-1 ruling, according to Fox News.”Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms.”
U.S. District Court Judge Sidney Stein of the Southern District of New York, who was assigned to the panel, dissented from the majority.
Gun rights advocacy organization the Firearms Policy Coalition which brought the case against California Attorney General Rob Bonta expressed hope that the ruling would set a precedent.
“Today’s decision confirms that peaceable legal adults cannot be prohibited from acquiring firearms and exercising their rights enshrined in the Second Amendment,” Firearms Policy Coalition Vice President of Programs Adam Kraut told Fox News.
“We are pleased to see progress on this important legal front and optimistic that similar results will come from our many other challenges to age-based bans filed in courts across the United States,” Kraut added in a statement to the outlet.
According to its website, “FPC is a coalition of hundreds of thousands of Patriots organizing to take back our Constitution and defend the inalienable, fundamental, and individual right to keep and bear arms.”
A spokesperson for Attorney General Bonta provided a statement to Fox News, saying that “his office is reviewing the court’s decision.”
“California will continue to take all necessary steps to prevent and reduce gun violence,” according to the statement. “We remain committed to defending California’s commonsense gun laws, which save lives and make our communities safer.”
The court’s ruling fell short of a total victory for gun rights advocates who also sought to prevent the state of California’s requirement that adults 21-years-old and under who are not in the military or in law enforcement have a hunting license to buy shotguns or rifles.
“The court ruled the hunting license requirement was reasonable for increasing public safety through ‘sensible firearm control,'” Fox News reported.
Young Californians reacted to the ruling.
(Video: YouTube/Fox 11 Los Angeles)
Leftists expressed dismay over the court’s affirmation of the right to bear arms including California State Senator Scott Wiener of San Francisco.
“Trump judges continue to shred the Constitution,” Wiener wrote on Twitter. “The latest: 18 year olds have a “constitutional right” to own mass killing machines. The kind used in the Poway synagogue massacre.”
Trump judges continue to shred the Constitution.
The latest: 18 year olds have a “constitutional right” to own mass killing machines. The kind used in the Poway synagogue massacre. https://t.co/h5OK25nMXg
— Senator Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) May 11, 2022
Another California state senator also lamented the decision.
“Disappointed in the court decision – it shows who our judges are matters. As the author of the bill in question this means we all have to work harder to keep guns out of the wrong hands,” wrote Democrat Anthony Portantino.
Disappointed in the court decision – it shows who our judges are matters. As the author of the bill in question this means we all have to work harder to keep guns out of the wrong hands https://t.co/Io0xZvxWC4 @bradybuzz @LABradyCampaign @Brady_SFV @MomsDemand
— Anthony Portantino (@Portantino) May 12, 2022
Buoyed by the ruling, the Firearms Policy Coalition tweeted, “And we have more where that came from.”
And we have more where that came from. https://t.co/t8SNJmn0qz
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) May 12, 2022
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