NRA’s lawsuit to overturn the law barring 18-21 year olds from purchasing handguns has been lost in the a district court, I believe in the same district court that decided Emerson back a half decade ago:
“The Court is of the opinion that the ban does not run afoul of the Second Amendment to the Constitution,” the ruling states. “The right to bear arms is enjoyed only by those not disqualified from the exercise of the Second Amendment rights.
“It is within the purview of Congress, not the courts, to weigh the relative policy considerations and to make decisions as to the age of the customer to whom those licensed by the federal government may sell handguns and handgun ammunition.”
So Congress could say no one who has not yet attained the age of 90 is permitted to own a firearm, and that is completely within Congress’ purview? The Courts should have nothing to say about it? What other right do we treat that way?
It continues to amaze me how little regard lower courts have for Heller and McDonald. Maybe there’s sound legal reasoning involved here. I have not seen the opinion. But punting to Congress strikes me as awfully weak.
UPDATE: The opinion is here. To make a relatively short opinion even shorter, he essentially grabbed on to the following passage in Heller:
[N]othing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.
Emphasis added by the District Court. Judge Cummings essentially argued that this was “a condition and qualification on the commercial sale of arms,” and thus was placed outside of the purview of the Court, leaving in the purview of Congress. But surely the Court did not mean that any condition or qualifications on the commercial sale of arms was presumptively constitutional? What if the qualification was never having received so much as a parking ticket? What if the condition was that each state could only have only FFL that was open 9AM to 11AM on the first Sunday after the first Saturday of each month? Does Judge Cummings really believe the Court meant that was entirely within the purview of Congress? That’s an absurd conclusion that renders a right a privilege.