The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions

Supreme Court turns down two Second Amendment appeals from NRA

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
By David G. Savage
Tribune Washington Bureau
Published:
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has turned down a pair of Second Amendment appeals lodged by the National Rifle Association, keeping in place laws that restrict those under 21 years old from buying or carrying a handgun.
Without comment, the justices dismissed claims by NRA attorneys who argued limits on those who are 18 to 20 infringe the “fundamental right” to have firearms for self-defense.
In one case, the court refused to hear a challenge to a 1968 federal law that bars federally licensed gun dealers from selling handguns to those who are under 21. Sales of shotguns or rifles are permitted to those who are 18 or older, however.
This law was upheld by a federal judge in Texas and by the 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans. Those judges said the age limits on handgun sales were justified because of the concern over violent crime.
In the second case, the justices refused to hear a challenge to a Texas law that forbids those who are 18 to 20 from carrying a concealed handgun in public. Since 1871, Texas law has prohibited individuals from carrying guns in public, the 5th Circuit said. However, the state legislature in 1995 said those who are 21 or older may obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon. But lawmakers said those who are under 21 may not obtain a license.
In defense of the law, the Texas attorney general said most states have similar age limits on the public carrying of guns by those younger than 21.
The high court’s action is consistent with a series of decisions in recent years refusing to revisit the question of whether firearms can be strictly regulated.
In 2008, the justices ruled, 5-4, that the Second Amendment protects the right of law-abiding citizens to have a handgun at home for self-defense. Since then, they have turned away several appeals urging them to decide whether gun owners have a right to carry a weapon outside their home.
Former U.S. Solicitor Gen. Paul D. Clement filed one of the appeals on behalf of the NRA. He argued that gun owners are facing “massive resistance” in the courts when they assert their rights under the Second Amendment.
“It is unthinkable that a court would allow Congress to declare law-abiding individuals in the first years of their legal majority too ‘irresponsible’ to be entrusted with First Amendment rights,” he said. He urged the court not to allow “this fundamental right 1/8to3/8 be relegated to second-class status.”
But after considering the appeals for several weeks, the court said Monday they would not be heard. The cases were NRA vs. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and NRA vs. McCraw.

More Nation & World Headlines

NEWSLETTER

HeraldNet Headlines

Top stories and breaking news updates

Calendar

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus