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In July, a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that banning sales of firearms to adults under 21 is clearly unconstitutional. The ruling noted that “Our nation’s most cherished constitutional rights vest no later than 18. And the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms is no different.”

That was then. This is now.

Now, the plaintiffs in the case, Tanner Hirschfeld and Natalia Marshall, are both 21 years old. Each had tried to buy firearms in Virginia and were refused. As a result of the delays inherent in the legal process, that fact makes the suit she filed against the ATF moot. Or so a Fourth Circuit panel ruled yesterday.

Fromt the Washington Post . . .

The challenge to the age restrictions was brought by prospective handgun buyer Natalia Marshall, who was unable to purchase a handgun from a federally licensed firearms dealer in Virginia because of her age. Once Marshall turned 21, she was no longer prohibited from buying a handgun, and there was no longer a legal controversy, the court said.

Marshall’s attorney had tried to add a new, younger plaintiff to the appeal — two days after Marshall turned 21, according to the court. By then, the court said, the case was moot.

Elliott Harding, who represents Marshall, said Wednesday that he is not giving up.

“One way or another, these laws are going to continue to be challenged,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that the Government will evade the repercussions of the court’s thorough ruling simply because the nature of the laws at issue allow them to escape final review through our lengthy litigation process.”

Read the full ruling here.

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60 COMMENTS

  1. Moot, now where have we heard that term before? Oh yeah, something about NYC and their daily changing laws, SCOTUS. The fix is in.

  2. I don’t care if they’re a hundred and thirty years old. The case was about a time when they were under 21! It should go forward to the Supreme Court if necessary. These idiot judges don’t know what their cowardice will engender eventually.

  3. “Fourth Circuit Reverses Ruling…”

    It’s called “the law”, peoples. Courts decide what the law is. “The Law” is not about justice. It is about “The Law”.

    Right now, congress is in the early stages of considering a law to supersede the Supreme Court, by “codifying” abortion in federal law. As if federal law cannot be challenged, or overturned. One intention is to intimidate the SC into not overturning R v. W. Another intention is to make the law so complex that it requires repealing/overturning the law piecemeal.

  4. Shouldn’t the “court” have recognized the plaintiff’s birthday beforehand and expedited the case or at least baked a cake? If it is not skin color or some other Jim Crow era form of discrimination it’s always something along the lines and today it’s a birthday.

    Meanwhile the problem in Afghanistan is girls cannot go to school. Never mind the rape, butchering and torture of anyone who does not fit the taliban mold. Let’s not discuss that, the border, inflation and all the other unchecked democRat Party Filth.

      • Not at all, Snakeyes,

        Fascists are fascists, no matter WHAT they call themselves.

        Please elucidate for us the last time a “militant Christian” required to to convert or die, in the face of threatened beheading, stoning, being pushed off a building??? Oh, there isn’t one???? Quelle surprise!!!

        Hie thyself off and intercourse thyself to death.

      • I did not make any party choice…You see what you want to see and attempted to do that.

        Furthermore…You failed to factor in, “unchecked democRat Party Filth.” And by all accounts you do not know that murder, torture, rape and other taliban antics that the democRat Party green lighted takes the word religion and conservative out of the equation and lays the whole tamale on the doorstep of the democRat Party.

        In fact the taliban compass points towards the democRat Party anyway. After all the democRat Party owns the legacy of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, lynching, the kkk, Eugenics, Gun Control and other race based atrocities. Atrocities that spanned coast to coast and not just in the South like history rewrite democRats want finger pointing history illiterates like you to believe.

        Any more ???

      • “The Taliban are Democrats??? Odd party choice for a group of religious conservatives.”

        Not at all, Democrats are fundamental religious zealots. They practice their dogma to the faith on a daily basis. They worship government and WHATEVER the party “leaders” declare.

    • Is this like a statute of limitations? If I commit a crime with a SOL of five years, and the litigation is not finished within that time, is the case moot and I go free?

  5. They need to get people to try to buy a handgun the day they turn 18 and then file the same day that they are refused. We need to do that in every state it is illegal. Hopefully, it will make its way through the morass of effluvium it time to hit a federal circuit court.

    Who has a child/grandchild almost 18 who might want to buy a handgun?
    This could be the start of law career.

  6. Once again the Conservative Court stabs gun owners in the back proving that yes the Conservative Justices hate guns as much as the Liberals do.

    FACTS ABOUT YOUNG MEN:

    In this case the court made the right move as psychological studies show that young men who are brimming with excess testosterone usually do not reach full mental maturity until at least 25 years of age. They are unable to understand the consequences of their actions both short term and long term. This is not anything new as bars have banned carrying of guns for decades all the way back to Tombstone Arizona and Wyatt Earp.

    Drunken young men are homicidal killing machines and the militaries of the world in days gone buy often gave liquor to their soldiers before battles.

    The military for centuries has long known how easy it is to manipulate and brain wash young men into killing machines who only later in life realized how badly they were hoodwinked into doing things no mature and civilized person would have even contemplated doing.

    The majority of auto accidents also prove that the young are the ones that often cause the majority of them. They believe that they are invincible and that they cannot be injured or killed and they lack the maturity to handle deadly machines whether they are operating a car or a firearm.

    • You do realize the plaintiff in this case was a women right?
      You sound like an idiot, by that logic, you should get no rights until age 25 for anyone. No voting, no car driving nothing.

      • Well, thanks to our “Occupier in Chef” we have the “taliban” version of woman’s right comings to the US.

        Women are NOT allowed to drive, play an instrument, or go to school.
        Also women are not allowed in group of two or more…………unless wearing “bomber vests”, or residing in mass graves.

        Careful all you dudes who identify as women. The muslum fun-dim-mental-ists are coming with the solutions to your confusions.
        I don’t think they’ll be impressed by your trophies/metals in woman’s sports/Olympic event and just leave you alone. 🤔

        Edit; hey lil d, UP YOUR MEDS!

        • Your reading comprehension is at the 3rd grade level. I did not discriminate against either sex but used the term “all young people” are often involved in more auto accidents than more mature adults and therefore when they handle a deadly machine whether it be a vehicle or a firearm they are less likely to handle it responsibly . This is nothing new as studies made by Insurance companies verified decades ago. Have you been sleeping longer than Rip Van Winkle????

        • dacian the dim,

          This you???:

          ” . . . young men who are brimming with excess testosterone usually do not reach full mental maturity until at least 25 years of age . . . “; AND

          “Drunken young men are homicidal killing machines . . . “; FOLLOWED BY

          “I did not discriminate against either sex . . . “.

          dacian the dimwit, you are not JUST an inept, illogical, ungrammatical, borderline-incoherent liar, you also apparently have such a useless short term memory that you can’t even remember what you wrote IN THE SAME THREAD.

          Heck, and to think I once thought MinorIQ was the biggest nitwit on this blog. You make him look like Einstein. Try actually thinking, for a change, rather than spouting some idiotic Leftist talking points your Gender Studies professor brainwashed you with.

      • That is highly insulting, and probably a violation of the ADA! He does not SOUND like an idiot; He IS an idiot. Therefore, you must take into account his disability, disregard it entirely, and simply acknowledge his existence while being scrupulously careful not to make direct eye contact.

        A proper response to a Derpian posting would be to either ignore it completely, or simply respond, “There, there. . . everything’s going to be all right. Remain calm. Would you like some warm milk perhaps? Ovaltine?”

        That will give him the attention he craves, while not actively encouraging him.

    • ” . . . psychological studies show that young men who are brimming with excess testosterone usually do not reach full mental maturity until at least 25 years of age. They are unable to understand the consequences of their actions both short term and long term.”

      So, like, they . . . shouldn’t be allowed to vote, amirite???

      dacian the demented, your abject idiocy is exceeded only by your ‘intellectual’ inconsistency. Wherever you allegedly received your (claimed) ‘degree’??? They owe you a refund and an apology. Whatever ‘they’ allegedly taught you, they certainly didn’t teach you anything remotely resembling critical thinking. “Critical theory”, maybe. You aren’t even a decent caricature; you’re too transparently stupid.

      • To The Lamp went out in his head.

        Insurance companies verified these findings in regards to young people having more accidents decades ago. Only a self-anointed pompous moron like yourself would have been unaware of it.

        Quit while you are ahead you just made a fool out of yourself.

        • Lil d, the meds are your FRIEND.
          TAKE THEM AS PRESCRIBED!

          YOU NEED TO LEARN THIS, KNOW THIS, AND LIVE THIS. 🤪

        • Men and women under the age of 21 are able to join the military, or (in some cases) become employed by police departments, which then give the access to firearms and they carry firearms. They must be responsible then.

          Someone under the age of 21 but at least 18 years old can buy a rifle or shotgun (long gun), under federal law. Plenty of people under 18 legally have long guns. They must be responsible then.

          These groups have had no more accidents than any other group, and in fact they have overall less “accidents” of any type than others in their age groups who are not firearms owners/carriers.

          You cite a study that was discredited due to bias.

        • Others have already schooled you about your debunked “studies”, so I won’t even go into that. What I will do is renew my prior challenge (made several times) to you:

          Citations, or your study doesn’t exist.

          Please hie thyself off and intercourse thyself to death.

        • To the Lamp that went out in his head.

          People also ask
          Do young drivers cause more accidents?
          Every driver knows there is a risk of a car accident every time they are on the road. However, it seems young drivers have the potential to cause more traffic accidents than others. Studies have shown that drivers ages 16 to 24 years were found to be at fault for most accidents.

          And since Lamp Went out in your head you were to lazy and shiftless to look it up for yourself (probably guzzling beer and pizza) here it is Moron.

          https://www.autoaccident.com/why-do-young-drivers-have-more-accidents.html

        • “There, there. . . everything’s going to be all right. Remain calm. Would you like some warm milk perhaps? Ovaltine?”

        • Oh Sweet Baby Jeebus on a farkin’ nuclear-powered pogo stick!!!!!!!!!!!!! dacian the dim, even YOU cannot POSSIBLY be this completely, bomfozzlingly stupid!!!

          You ACTUALLY cite an ON-LINE AD for a bunch of ambulance-chasers as your AUTHORITY for your assertions????

          Please, stop trying to think or argue – you might hurt yourself with the pathetic reach.

          Yes, there ARE reliable studies out there about higher accident rates among younger drivers, and there are even studies about higher accident rates among young adult males.

          How many are/have been controlled for total miles driven???? How many controlled for alcohol use (since drinking is illegal for those under 21, MOST of them go outside their homes (i.e., DRIVE) to drink)?

          Or are you just a driveling, drooling idiot?? (Never mind, we all know you are)?

          S***-for-brains, I challenged you on two points:

          1. Cite your sources, or STFU; and

          2. You are a misandrist, sexist, d***less p****.

          You come back with a response that (a) cites an AD from AMBULANCE CHASERS as your authority, and (b) ignores and elides over the fact that you are a sexist, d***less, misandrist p****.

          WAY TO GO, s***-for-brains!!! I’m sure you were a standout on the “debate team” at your alleged college (the local JC, at best, would be my guess). For an allegedly educated person, dacian the dim, you are remarkably ignorant, unsophisticated, illogical, uneducated, and generally just amazingly stupid.

          Do the world, and all of us here at TTAG, a favor and go pleasure yourself in you mom’s basement.

        • dacian the dim,

          Was that intended to be a serious response, or were you attempting to engage in sarcasm???

          I have given you three, simple challenges (I don’t want you to strain your EXTREMELY limited capacity with a complex on):

          1. CITE YOUR AUTHORITY when you make an assertion, and

          2. Explain why owning a gun is a greater “threat to society” than driving or voting, and

          3. Defend your OBVIOUS sexist misandry.

          You completely failed all of them.

          For “authority”, did you actually have the absolute, complete, stuttering incompetence to CITE AN ONLINE AD FROM AMBULANCE CHASERS as your “authority”???? Sorry, I underestimated you – I thought you were approximately as intellectually “gifted” as MinorIQ; clearly, you are “a special kinda stupid”.

          Let me help you, dacian the deluded, demented, [email protected]$$ – there ARE studies that reflect higher car accident rates for young adults. That falls under the rubric of “no s***, Sherlock!”. It’s called “experience” – as a simple example, compare accident rates among private pilots with >400 hours flight time, with those among pilots with <400 hours. Quelle surprise!!! Pilots with less experience have more accidents!! WHO could have POSSIBLY predicted it??????

          Second, I never suggested that there might not be higher accident rates among young adults; I questioned your authority for that assertion (and you cited an ad from ambulance chasers), and suggested you apply your "logic" to comparable situations – like voting, serving in the military, driving, etc. – to owning guns.

          Since that was obviously too much for your tiny brain to parse, let me break it down for you:

          If a young, adult male is not trustworthy to own a gun, WHY, EXACTLY, is it safer to let them vote, drive, or serve in the military????? Why guns – other than because you're an idiot, and don't like them?

          Finally, I cited SPECIFIC examples of you being a sexist, misandrist p****, and demanded you justify your sexist behavior – which you completely elided over/ignored.

          I'm guessing your alleged "education" did not include logic, rhetoric, debate or critical thinking.

          Do better, dacian . . . IF you are capable. I am betting you are not.

    • GFY lil d.
      My son had just turned 20 when he had to hold two armed (hunting knives & Little League alum bats) intruders at gunpoint (Diamondback DB-10 308W rifle w/Romeo 5 RDS) while calling the authorities and then waiting over 15 minutes for the LEOs to arrive and place the two POS under arrest.
      These dirtbags broke into the 1st floor Insurance Co offices (they own the two story building), he leases the two bedroom 2nd floor condo from the owner of the Ins Co.
      The perps broke down a 1st floor locked door that accessed an inside stairway. They then proceeded to break down the 2nd floor locked door into his residences.
      He had removed the 308 rifle from his safe, inserted a 20rd mag, and chambered a round while his door was being breached.
      When they entered his condo, he ordered them to face the wall, cross their legs, and lace their fingers on the tops of their heads.
      According to the massive POS lil d, he would rather my son had perished that night.

      On my sons 21st birthday I gave him the choice between a new Walther PPQ45 or a near new German made SIG P220 Stainless. He chose the P220ST.

      Funny how his mom was so upset when I armed up our 18 year old son. She never complained to me about it anymore after it saved his life.🤔

      You’re a total POS lil d.

      • You quote (probably not true anyway) one incident but ignore that majority of innocents with young people. Sorry you fool no one but yourself as the stats from numerous studies prove overall the young are not to be trusted with machinery that can cause great harm and death.

    • The military for centuries has long known how easy it is to manipulate and brain wash young men into killing machines who only later in life realized how badly they were hoodwinked into doing things no mature and civilized person would have even contemplated doing.

      Thats kind of why so many of them vote democrat also…..you are probably on to something.

  7. The Fourth Circus Court of Treason has now shared the treasonous spot of the 9th. that once held this position in a very small club of traitors.

  8. I can see the courts point of view that the ruling is mute, however send in someone who turned 18 that day, and file again. Let’s expedite it. I know that can be difficult, but perhaps it needs to be called out in the filling so that it continues to carry through. They can’t just stall it until the plaintiffs turn 21 and ignore it.
    The court basically kicked the can down the road due to slow judicial process.

    • “I can see the courts point of view that the ruling is mute“

      “mute”?

      I thought you were an attorney?

      Rudy, is that you?

    • Ever heard the phrase, “Justice delayed is justice denied”???

      The “mootness” argument (NOT “muteness”, BTW) is a cheap dodge. SCOTUS, and other courts, have consistently used it when they lacked the intellectual fortitude to take a position they KNEW was going to get them huge pushback. So they used a weak “mootness” argument to dodge the issue.

      The plaintiffs suffered harm by being forced to wait to exercise a Constitutional right, after they were allegedly ‘adults’. Simple issue – if someone is too ‘immature’ to own a gun, in what demented universe are they ‘mature’ enough to vote??????????

  9. It would seem to me that it is either unconstitutional (which it is) or discrimination because the government issued me M16A1 select fire and a colt 45 and provided me training at 19 years old for both.

  10. Roe V Wade.

    Roe had the baby. In fact, she her baby long before the Supreme Court took up the case. The court clearly recognized that due to the lengthy time of the appeals process, the controversy was not mooted.

    So, SCOTUS has already ruled that cases of this nature are not moot simply due to the passage of time.

  11. All it takes to get Universal Health Care is convincing the ignorant stingy Hillbillies that its cheaper to pay $2,000 in taxes than pay $8,000 for health insurance.

    It literally boils down to convincing enough stingy tight wad ignorant Hillbillies that the number 2 is smaller than the number 8.

    All other countries have figure this out decades ago.

      • China doesn’t have universal health care. They are finding it hard to get their people to take vaccines because the people think they’re going to be charged for it.

        Also China doesn’t have welfare or pensions. But the party elites are enriching themselves on graft, corruption, nepotism, and cronyism.

        • Tarnished Cross you are an idiot. It was mandatory that they get vaccinated, they had no choice. And by the way idiot how do you think they got their virus under control so quickly while we 1 1/2 years later are still all fked up.

          Welfare in China is linked to the hukou system. Those holding non-agricultural hukou status have access to a number of programs provided by the government, such as healthcare, employment, retirement pensions, housing, and education.

          Tarnished Cross you really are a blowhard that likes smelling your own rotten rectum gas, we do not, take it to the hillbillies only they will believe your baloney.

        • dacian, you genuinely believe Chinese propaganda about having the virus under control? You’re a clown.

    • dacian the imbecile,

      Cite me actual studies and examples (WITH SPECIFICITY) of people who are paying LESS money for EQUIVALENT health insurance under Obummercare? Citations, or your study doesn’t exist.

      Quote Dean Wurmer: “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, boy!” Heed the dean’s advice.

      • Look Moron The Affordable Health Care Act IS NOT Universal Health care in any way shape or form. Obama never even wanted it but had to take what he could get when he had to compromise with the gangster criminal Republican greed mongers out to screw the American people out of their own tax dollars so they could steal all their tax dollars in the form of Corporate Welfare payments.

        • You may not be aware of this…. but Democrats held 60 seats in the Senate and a similar sized majority in the House. For universal healthcare to be off the table, it has to be more than just those “gangster criminal Republican greed monsters” who oppose it.

          But please, continue to throw ad hominem, hyper partisan insults out there and I’m sure you’ll change the hearts and minds of many.

        • “It’s not REAL socialism/communism!! That hasn’t been tried, yet!!”

          Blow, discordant, tuneless horn, blow.

          Obummercare was supposed to be the solution to our “failed” healthcare system. Name ONE thing in healthcare that has improved since Obummercare was adopted. ONE.

          Or, preferably, go away and don’t trouble us further with your illogical, ahistorical, illiterate, ungrammatical idiocy.

  12. A more or less expected outcome. This case or another like it will continue to be pushed up the ladder, headed to the Supreme Court.

    • I posted my comment before reading yours! Great minds think alike.
      As I posted below, by the 4th Circuit’s logic, “Say a man has sex with a 12-year-old girl, but the man isn’t arrested and put on trial until she’s 18 years old. The 4th Circuit would say, “She’s 18 now, so she’s an adult, so he’s legally able to have sex with her, so the case is moot.””

  13. Just imagine if the same logic the 4th Circuit used in this case were applied to other laws.
    Say a man has sex with a 12-year-old girl, but the man isn’t arrested and put on trial until she’s 18 years old. The 4th Circuit would say, “She’s 18 now, so she’s an adult, so he’s legally able to have sex with her, so the case is moot.”

    Or if the 4th Circuit says it only applies to civil, not criminal cases, imagine a state passed an unconstitutional law saying you had to be 21 years old to vote, then millions of 18-year-olds were denied the right to vote in an election, so they sued, but by the time the case came to court, they were 21 years old. The 4th Circuit court would say the case is “moot” because now that they’re 21, the state is no longer denying them the right to vote!

    You’ve got to admire the court’s “Catch-22” style logic here — using their logic, NOBODY 18 to 21 can sue for their rights being denied due to age if the defendant only delays the case long enough!

  14. Also, this is why you file damages as well as injunctive relief.

    You ask for injunctive relieve, PLUS say $100,000 in damages for every month your civil rights are violated. The damages keep the case from being mooted.

  15. This sets the law in question beyond judicial review, because the defendant (the Justice Department) can easily slow-walk its responses and appeals for three years, long enough to let an 18 year old turn 21.

  16. Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe) got pregnant in 1969 and later gave birth. Funny how she continued to have standing 4 years later.

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