Is it legal for stores to raise the age for buying guns?

Can a company impose these limits on their own? For example, can a store decide to sell liquor to people only if they are 25 or older?

I’ve been to bars who only allow 25+. I’m not sure how that translates to a constitutional right, however.

Federal law and most state laws don’t provide any protection against age discrimination in places of public accommodation.

18 states and DC do (cite), but that doesn’t necessarily mean they apply to people that young. In Illinois, for example, it only kicks in at age 40.

The constitutional right to free shopping?

It’s an interesting question, given a baker can’t refuse to make a cake for a gay couple.

Assuming that no state includes that under sex (they might), a baker absolutely can refuse to do that in 29 states.

From the IMHO thread, New Jersey does have a law that prevents age discrimination in business transactions against 18-20 year olds, as long as the transaction would otherwise be legal (so an 18 year old can’t sue a liquor store for not selling to him):

Consensus seems to be that stores saying they’ll raise the age for gun purchases to 21 will likely be challenged in court in states where the age discrimination laws could be interpreted as prohibiting that. NJ was mentioned. An NYT article said it was true of NY state law also. It seems likely it’s true in at least some more gun-friendly states also.

But US constitutional right (as some people seem to assume in any question about rights), no, unless it becomes another right not mentioned in the constitution that courts eventually say is implied by it (like the right to privacy, etc).

Any reason you use this example, rather than the longer-established precedent that a baker can’t refuse to make a cake for an interracial couple?

Most age-discrimination laws prohibit discriminating against old people. Because they vote. Very few prohibit discriminating against young people (even legal-adult-age young people).

Private businesses seem to have a lot of latitude about restricting sales of products.

JUUL won’t ship its vaping products to customers under 21, even if it’s legal in the customer’s home state.

You can’t rent a car if you’re under 21.

There are some sex shops around here that don’t serve anyone under 21, while others have 18 as their minimum age. I’ve also seen hardware stores that don’t sell spray paint to kids.

Perhaps because this question is currently before the court.

Is it legal for McDonald’s to refuse to give the senior discount to people under 25?

One solution, if it ever came t that, would be to price guns at ten times the regular price, and then offer a senior discount of 90% to anybody over 25. Which would discourage sales, without an outright denial of service.

That’s all the more reason to NOT use this example. We’re trying to separate truth from untruth. It would be counterproductive to give examples that you think are in doubt as to whether they are true or untruth.

But look at the exceptions in your car rental link - in Michigan and NY the minimum age to rent is 18 as required by state law. That’s probably because NY and Michigan are two of the very few states that ban discrimination based on age for anyone over the age of 18 although there are of course certain exceptions. And one of those exceptions is when complying with a state law requires it- such as 21 being the minimum age to purchase alcohol. Or the minimum age in NY State to obtain a handgun license (which is needed to purchase the handgun) Or the minimum age to obtain a rifle/shotgun permit in NYC.

So the stores might* run into problems if they refuse to sell a rifle/shotgun to 18-20 year olds anywhere in NYS outside of NYC. Temporarily. Because I’m damn sure someone in NY in drafting legislation right now to allow stores to set a minimum age of 21 for all gun sales.

  • And I say “might” because it would take an 18-20 year old filing a complaint rather than just having mom or dad buy the gun at Dick’s or Walmart or going to Bass or Cabela’s him/herself.

They can in California. By turning it into a free speech, artistic expression case instead of a religious test makes all the difference.

Unless explicitly forbidden by statute, as in the above examples regarding nondiscrimination laws, a business today can certainly say “no guns under 21” as a free business decision. How future law or court ruling may change that is a different story.

And one could expect a number of those “everyone over 18 has to be treated equally even in private transactions” states may not resist too much carving out an exception for firearms.

I suspect the challenge won’t succeed in the state of NJ. We are clearly not a gun friendly state. The NRA largely gave up even trying to buy our politicians and hell, they usually go cheap.

That doesn’t really make any sense. Crafter_Man’s answer was basically, who knows if forbidding gun sales to under-21s is legal? Look at this other crazy thing liberal judges have decided! (Leaving aside how decided the refusal-to-serve-gay-couples issue actually is.) So I basically inquired why he decided that was the crazy thing courts have decided on. I’m sure there’s a reason, and it being a question currently before the court isn’t it.

So I thought the Supreme Court dropped the hammer on the “well regulated militia” vs “self defense” argument with https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZS.html District of Columbia v. Heller.

I am sympathetic to the argument that we should just allow people to form militias where they must keep their guns locked up. But instead the Supreme Court has basically said you should be allowed to have guns for the purposes of self defense.

So maybe it can’t be a machinegun, and maybe you should have to show proof of training before you get the weapon or something, but how can they just arbitrarily deny you the weapon if you’re a legal adult between 18 and 21?

If you can just declare a constitutional right doesn’t exist because of age, why not make it 18 to 65? Or women-only?

Just for accuracy’s sake, that ruling was issued by a county judge and therefore has no binding legal authority. The legal question is still unresolved.