It’s the law. You can buy rifles and shotguns at 18, but for a handgun—it’s 21. It’s the same across most states. In the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last February, some states—like Vermont and Florida—have increased the age limit for all gun sales to 21 years of age. The shooting, which left 17 people dead, spurred another intense wave of anti-gun activism, which as been mostly beaten back. Yet, the anti-gun movement did score some wins with these pieces of legislation, which effectively deprived law-abiding adults the right to bear arms. It’s unconstitutional and yes—that provision in Florida’s law has been challenged, though it’s a lawsuit that’s most likely going to take years to resolve.
In Virginia, a group of recent high school graduates and college students feel that the age limit for the purchasing of handguns at 21 is unconstitutional and are working to file a lawsuit to argue their case. University of Virginia student Tanner Hirschfeld is the lead plaintiff in the legal action against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. They’ve established a donation page at Crowd Justice:
We are young adults in Virginia seeking to challenge the United States federal ban which infringes on our right to purchase common handguns and ammunition from federally licensed firearm dealers (FFLs). We are college students and recent high school graduates between the ages of 18-20 residing in Central Virginia. The federal laws currently allow us to purchase rifles and shotguns from FFLs, but not pistols. Several states are now passing legislation to raise the age to purchase these other firearms. We want to have the ability to purchase handguns, as they are the most traditional forms of self-defense, given their portability, size, and ease to which young men and women can be trained.
by Matt Vespa