Is WalMart’s Raising the Age of Buying of Firearms Unconstitutional?
At what age does it become a Constitutional Right to the Second Amendment?
That aside, Radius, let’s work through this for drill.
As Radius schooled me recently, what makes all of this different is the Second Amendment RIGHT that is bestowed upon citizens of the United States (and illegal aliens evidently as well.)
One would have to, therefore, conclude that everyone over the age of 18 who is a citizen of this country (or has good enough fake documentation) can legally buy a firearm.
“But we have laws that prohibit kids from drinking until age 21!” That is where Master Radius points out that drinking alcohol is not a right in the same way that driving a car is not a right.
“But isn’t there a law that you have to be 21 to own a handgun?”
Yes. In 1968 the The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA or GCA68) was passed. Let’s take a minute and all read together:
Does a customer have to be a certain age to buy firearms or ammunition from a licensee?
It is unlawful for any Federal firearms licensee (FFL) to sell or deliver any firearm or ammunition to anyone he knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than eighteen years of age.
It is unlawful for an FFL to sell or deliver a firearm other than a rifle or shotgun or ammunition for a firearm other than a rifle or shotgun to any individual who he knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than 21 years of age. See 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(1).
However, an unlicensed individual may sell or transfer any firearm to an individual over the age of 18 who resides in the same State, provided that he does not know or have reasonable cause to believe the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms under Federal law.
Please note that there may be State laws that prohibit the possession of firearms, including handguns, by an individual who is under 21 years of age.
In summary —
- Anyone can buy a shotgun or rifle after age 18 from an FFL
- You have to be 21 to buy a handgun or anything else that’s not a shotgun or rifle from an FFL
- If you’re 18, you can buy anything you want from an individual in your State.
- If you’re 18, you can’t buy a handgun from out of state.
- State laws can be more restrictive than U.S.C. § 922(b)(1)
In 2013 the NRA filed in the Supreme Court to reverse the ruling of a lower court that the hand gun restriction for 18-21 year olds was unconstitutional. See National Rifle Association v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives if you’re interested in the details. This petition was DENIED and that’s where it’s been since.
Clearly Congress can vote to extend the restriction to age 21 of anything they want including AR-15s. Additionally, the individual States can restrict purchase of these weapons. They can put in laws that make them virtually impossible to own as has been done in New York or they can ban them altogether as was done in California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey as well as the District of Columbia.
Can local communities create their own gun ordinances? That depends on the State but in many places they can.
So the net/net here is that while Walmart’s decision is clearly unconstitutional at the moment, the Left will rally to Walmart’s defense and make sure State or Local laws are passed assuming a Federal law isn’t passed before that.
There’s quite an irony in all of this as Walmart has been the enemy of the Left for so long!
By the way, an interesting observation is that their original tweet really didn’t get a ton of support.
Building on our 2015 decision to not sell modern sporting rifles, we announced important changes today:
– Raising the age for purchase of firearms and ammunition from 18 to 21 years old
– Removing online items resembling assault-style rifles
See details https://t.co/K7wnc0XEwK
— Walmart (@Walmart) February 28, 2018
I think we could get that many likes by just announcing that Doomberg was going to be naked in the 2019 Sparta Report Calendar!