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.