Fifth Circuit

Another circuit court tramples your rights

by American Firearms Review  |  published on November 24, 2012

Sometimes you have to just step back and marvel at the way these judges “interpret” the Constitution:

The United States may ban federally licensed firearms dealers from selling handguns to people under age 21, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Thursday, in a defeat for the National Rifle Association.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Houston rejected the NRA’s argument that 18- to 20-year-olds had a right to buy the guns under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment.

The NRA, which seems destined to appeal the decision, is wondering how this syncs with the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Heller case, which struck down Washington, DC’s gun ban. That ruling applied the Second Amendment to everyone, not just adults.

And check out the circuit court’s dance around the Constitution:

A unanimous three-judge panel said Congress, in a law dating from 1968, adopted the sales ban to help curb violent crime. It also said that the nation’s founders and 19th-century courts and commentators believed that disarming specific groups did not trample on the right to bear arms.

Huh? The judges seem to be saying that, so long as a gun ban is well-intentioned and doesn’t target every single person in America, it’s okay. That’s not what we heard in Heller. And more importantly, it’s not what it says in the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms for all.

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