Enter your email address and start getting breaking law firm and legal news right now!
NRA Petition at Supreme Court Backed by 22 US States
In the case of National Rifle Association of America, Inc., et. Al. v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, et. Al. the Supreme Court is handling an explosive situation. The NRA has asked what made the magic age of majority determine how a person is deprived constitutional rights on a day and allowed to enjoy them the next day.
The NRA has contended that the age of majority is a fiction based on presumptions and without ample proof, and that it cannot have blanket application to deprive young adults of their constitutional rights, including specifically in this case, the right to own guns.
However, the question is critical enough, as the world is filled with young adults becoming doctors and scientists or CEOs while in their teens, and still remaining deprived of the basic constitutional rights of being held mature enough to vote for their electorates. It is a knotty question, but NRA’s contentions in this respect have drawn enough attention for 22 states to back their petition and ask the Supreme Court to clarify.
The amicus brief filed by Luther Strange, the Attorney General of Alabama, has now been co-signed by attorney generals of 21 other US states.
While, on the face of it, the lawsuit seeks to end the federal prohibition on young adults attempting to purchase guns, the real issue of law is the validity of an age of majority for depriving young adults from exercising constitutional rights.
The decision can have a domino effect because many tenets of law depend upon the concept of age of majority – from the ability to execute certain legal documents, to bindings and procedures in property law, to the right to vote and to many other rights enjoyed by free citizens.
In his amicus brief, Attorney General Strange notes that while most US states allow 18-20 year old adults to own guns and exercise their Second Amendment rights, the federal government chooses to deprive them of such rights.
Strange mentioned that the Militia Act of 1792 required 18 year olds to be enrolled in the militia and arm themselves. He also mentioned that the Founding Fathers made it clear that with respect to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 18-year olds were considered as adults.
The states that co-signed the amicus brief filed by the Alabama Attorney General include Alaska, 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.