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NRA Files Petition for Certiorari to Let Minors Have Guns
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On Monday,  29th July the National Rifle Association of America filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in the Supreme Court of the United States. The matter is National Rifle Association of America, Inc and others v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Two 19-year-olds, Andrew M. Paine and Katherine Taggart are also petitioners, besides the NRA. The petition asks the Supreme Court to strike down the law preventing persons under 21 years of age from owning guns, and after a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit unanimously upholding the law, last year.


The petition asserts that the law prohibiting young adults and teens from purchasing guns is unconstitutional.

In criticism of the panel decision of the 5th Circuit, the petition reads:

“According to the panel decision below, this categorical burden on the fundamental right to keep and bear arms passes constitutional muster because law-abiding young adults likely do not possess Second Amendment rights at all, but in any event are sufficiently removed from the “core” of the Amendment’s concern that their rights may be infringed based on Congress’ factually unsupported “predictive judgment” that they are too “irresponsible” to be entrusted with them. In an opinion dissenting from denial of rehearing en banc, six judges found this dubious logic impossible to square with this Court’s holdings in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), and McDonald v. City of Chicago, 130 S. Ct. 3020 (2010), that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental individual right that may not be relegated to “second-class” status.”

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The NRA asks the Supreme Court whether this “nationwide, class-based, categorical ban on meaningful access to … the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense can be reconciled with the Second Amendment, the equal protection guarantee, and this Court’s precedents.”

And if we remove the legalese, another twist to the petition is an assertion that, if minors are not fit to own guns, and those above the age are, then “One obvious consequence is that individuals above the legal age of majority cannot be denied any meaningful ability to purchase the quintessential means for exercising the core individual right.”


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