The Supreme Court turned down 2 appeals brought by the NRA concerning gun rights for those under 21 years of age. Should underage citizens have the same 2nd Amendment rights as the rest of us?
It’s not just underage citizens. It is those that are age 18 or greater but less than 21.
There should be one age of majority. The same for signing contracts, enlisting in the military, voting, drinking, and firearm ownership.
It’s too bad, I thought the NRA case a good one for the purchase of firearms. The carry case should wait until purchase was protected to build on that. In CA, an 18 year old may not purchase a pistol, but they can legally own one. An inter-familial transfer is required and the pistol be a gift.
Thank you for the clarification.
Do you think they all require the same level of experience and/or reasoning?
I’m not disagreeing with you necessarily, but…why? We make arbitrary distinctions about age of majority for different matters; why should those all be the same age? Convenience?
As a hippie socialist of the sort that supports reasonable restrictions on gun purchase, I might prefer that 18-19-20 year olds were *required *to purchase their firearms and undergo background checks. As it is, no one that age who legally owns a firearm (in CA, at least, and IIRC some other states) has gone through the system at all.
It doesn’t seem like an onerous restriction to me, 18 year olds turn into 21 year olds after a short time. It seems consistent with other laws requiring that a person be 21 to do something.
In Kentucky, an 18 year old can purchase and own a handgun, they just can’t buy it from an FFL dealer, or get a concealed-carry permit. Persons under 18 can possess a handgun under a broad range of circumstances, such as target shooting, or anytime on private property with the permission of the owner and the minor’s parent or guardian.
No. Each activity is unique and it would be impossible for all activities to require the *exact *same level of experience and reasoning. The age of majority is arbitrary - but it should be set such that it covers at a minimum, all those activities which society has determined an adult may undertake and be responsible for. If that age should be higher, that’s fine. I’m not sure where to evaluate each on the scale of responsibility required, but enlisting in the military is pretty high up there, IMO.
Being an adult with the associated rights, responsibilities, and privileges should not be a sliding scale.
Keep in mind, under the TX law that was challenged, and in my home state of CA, a person over 18 but under 21 can still purchase long guns. So shotguns, AR-15 pattern rifles, AK-47 pattern rifles, saigas, single shot AR-pistols, and a host of other weapons. The restriction on pistols makes less sense in the grand scheme of firearm purchase.
I can’t think of another example of requiring someone be 21 to exercise a constitutional or fundamental right (I thought maybe marriage and it looks like that might be true in Mississippi). What are you thinking of?
If you’re old enough to fight for your country it seems only reasonable that your country should deem you old enough to have the same right to bear arms as those over 21.
I agree that this is the basic issue. There currently exists a spectrum of definitions of adulthood ranging from 18 years of age to 26.
18 confers adulthood rights for most purposes. But you are still a minor until 21 for purchasing alcohol and some firearms. And a person is still a child until 26 years of age for purposes of child support (if the ‘child’ attends college) and also for reasons of parental health insurance coverage.
Dont forget POTUS at 35!
Hell, it’s even broader than that when we include age of sexual consent and marriage laws. Do we just raise those to “adulthood” across the board as well?
And on edit, should we lower Constitutional age restrictions (POTUS, congress) to 18 as well?
It’s a long established principle that full Constitutional rights may be restricted for people under a certain age. And it’s also established that different ages can be set for different rights. Twenty-one is the high end but it’s not unreasonable. So I don’t see a law restricting firearm use to those under twenty-one as unconstitutional.
Let’s see…buying and consuming alcohol, working in an establishment that serves alcohol, adopting a child, holding certain licenses. Things of that nature. There’s also holding various government offices, though they are generally higher than 21.
Obviously, those aren’t Constitutional rights (except perhaps running for office). Then again, there’s no Constitutional right to every type of arm in every possible cirumstance, and limiting those aged 18-20 to long guns isn’t automatically an infringement of the Second Amendment.
I’m not suggesting it’s automatically an infringement (and, frankly, I don’t know enough about this particular case to have an informed opinion on whether it is an infringement). It just seems to me that, while some age restrictions are permissible, one is generally able to exercise one’s constitutional rights on the same level as any other adult once you’re 18 (although, I recognize that we have ages of adulthood that run from 16 to 26 in other contexts).
My take is that I don’t think the theory that because some arms are allowed (long guns) it is permissible to restrict other arms (handguns).
The constitutional question of whether it is allowable to restrict weapons to this age group isn’t mooted by allowing long guns. If there exists a constitutional protection for arms, it should include both long guns and handguns. If there is no constitutional protection for arms in this age group, then prohibiting handguns, or long guns, or both would be permissible.
We know for a fact that there is a constitutional protection for arms for those over 21. Those include arms that are not both unusual and dangerous, or those that are in common use. The question here is whether that protection extends to 18 year olds. I’m fine either way actually, but whatever age it is, should be the same for all the other rights, responsibilities, and privileges of adulthood.
So far as I know, that’s correct. At least, I can’t think of any exceptions.
And driving. Can’t forget driving.
Or holding elected office, though we’d have to do something about that pesky Constitution thingy there.
I would have no objection to having the age of driving be connected to the age of majority. Families abound who depend on their older teen children to drive the younger ones would complain I’m sure.
In CA, you may obtain a driver’s license at age 16 but it is restricted in several ways. You may not drive during certain hours (school hours and late at night), may not drive non family members, DUI limits are zero rather than 0.08, etc. All of these are predicated on the fact that when you are under 18, you don’t enjoy full rights.
How about holding elective office? Seems that the Founding Fathers didn’t agree that all rights accrue at the same age.