Fairfax, Va. – Twenty-one state attorneys general have co-signed an amicus brief filed by Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange in support of the National Rifle Association’s challenge against a federal law that restricts the sale of handguns to young adults aged 18 – 20. The case, National Rifle Association of America, Inc., et. al. v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, et al., seeks to end the federal prohibition of young adults to purchase handguns from federally licensed dealers.
“Young adults, many of whom have fought and sacrificed life and limb for their country, should not be prohibited from fully exercising their fundamental Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “The Second Amendment should receive no less respect than our other enumerated constitutional freedoms.”
Attorney General Strange’s brief notes that most states allow 18-20 year old adults to exercise this aspect of their Second Amendment rights, and “yet Congress has sought to withdraw this liberty from the same class of people.” The history of the Founding era makes clear that 18 year olds were considered adults in regards to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms; for example, the Militia Act of 1792 required 18 year olds to “be enrolled in the militia” and to arm themselves accordingly.
The states joining Alabama in the amicus brief are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
“The NRA has been engaged in this ongoing fight for years – in Congress, in state legislatures, and in the courts – and we will not rest until the Right of every law-abiding American to Keep and Bear Arms is fully protected by our nation’s laws,” concluded Cox.
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America's oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. More than four million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalRifleAssociation and on Twitter @NRA.