4th Circuit Panel Rules Handgun Ban UnConstitutional

4th Circuit Panel Rules Handgun Ban UnConstitutional

4th Circuit Panel Rules Handgun Ban UnConstitutional

The handgun law banning 18-20 years olds from owning a firearm was ruled unConstitutional yesterday. Three judges heard the case, and in a 2-1 vote, ruled that the Second Amendment gives the right of ownership to 18-20 year olds.

A federal court ruled on Tuesday that the United States’s ban on handguns for adults under the age of 21 is unconstitutional.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 vote, determined that the Second Amendment extends to 18- to 20-year-olds after a federal law barred them from purchasing pistols from licensed firearm dealers.

“Our nation’s most cherished constitutional rights vest no later than 18,” Judge Julius Richardson wrote in the decision.

When I saw that ruling yesterday, my first thought was WOW! My second thought was, the gun grabbers are going to throw one massive hissy fit. 

In this case, Natalie Marshall was dealing with an abusive ex-boyfriend. He was stalking her and she was, rightfully so, in fear for her life. She wanted a handgun for protection and had taken multiple gun safety classes. Except federal law banned her from purchasing a handgun because she was under the age of 21. 

She was old enough to vote, but not old enough to exercise her Second Amendment rights. 

She was old enough to drive a car, but not old enough to purchase a handgun for protection. 

The federal law banning handguns from young people ages 18-21 also didn’t take into consideration that they can be old enough to join the military, but somehow not be old enough to legally purchase a handgun. 

The judges who ruled in favor of repealing this ban make some very good points. 

Plaintiffs seek an injunction and a declaratory judgment that several federal laws and regulations that prevent federally licensed gun dealers from selling handguns to any 18-, 19-, or 20-year-old violate the Second Amendment. We first find that 18-year-olds possess Second Amendment rights. They enjoy almost every other constitutional right, and they were required at the time of the Founding to serve in the militia and furnish their own weapons. We then ask, as our precedent requires, whether the government has met its burden to justify its infringement of those rights under the appropriate level of scrutiny. To justify this restriction, Congress used disproportionate crime rates to craft over-inclusive laws that restrict the rights of overwhelmingly law-abiding citizens. And in doing so, Congress focused on purchases from licensed dealers without establishing those dealers as the source of the guns 18- to 20-year-olds use to commit crimes. So we hold that the challenged federal laws and regulations are unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. Despite the weighty interest in reducing crime and violence, we refuse to relegate either the Second Amendment or 18- to 20-year-olds to a second-class status….

I believe they are saying that the Constitution needs to apply EQUALLY to ALL.  But in the case of this handgun ban, it wasn’t. 

Needless to say, Judge Wynn had a far different take on the matter. His dissent accused the others of judicial overreach and catering to the pro-gun lobby:

No, the Second Amendment is exceptional not because it is uniquely oppressed or imperiled, but rather because it is singularly capable of causing harm. As other courts have recognized, while there are dangers inherent in other constitutionally protected rights—like the rights to speak and assemble—the Second Amendment alone protects a direct and lethal right to endanger oneself and others….

The Second Amendment is extra dangerous when 18-21 year olds are in possession of LEGALLY PURCHASED handguns? Wow. That’s one helluva stretch!

It’s very obvious to me that Judge Wynn, with that exceptionally hot take in his dissent, would rather the Second Amendment be done away with altogether.

All Natalie Marshall wanted to do was legally own a handgun for protection. Yet Judge Wynn reads that as Natalie Marshall being the GREATER danger to the public than her stalker ex-boyfriend. Unbelievable.

Then again, the reaction to this ruling has been quite something. I give you Keith Olbermann

Yes, he’s a Constitutional moron. Yes, he’s deliberately gaslighting what the Second Amendment really means because reasons and anti-gun. But he’s not the only one. 


The Second Amendment is unique among the amendments in the Bill of Rights, in that it contains a preface explaining the reason for the right protected: Militias are necessary for the security of a free state. We cannot read the words “free State” here as a reference to the several states that make up the Union. The frequent use of the phrase “free State” in the founding era makes it abundantly clear that it means a non-tyrannical or non-despotic state. Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), rightly remarked that the term and its “close variations” were “terms of art in 18th-century political discourse, meaning a free country or free polity.”

This was an interesting and much needed win for our Second Amendment and for 18-21 year olds specifically. However, that doesn’t mean the federal government won’t appeal and ask for a en banc hearing from the entire 4th circuit. 

But for now, there are two judges on the 4th circuit who found that the Second Amendment applies to all and for all with this handgun ban ruling.

Feature Photo Credit: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 129482747 via Shutterstock, cropped and modified

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1 Comment
  • GWB says:

    and in a 2-1 vote
    And that is why we are having trouble keeping our constitutional republic. It should have been a 3-0 vote, and any en banc hearing should be X-0 (X = however many are in a 4th circuit en banc).

    They enjoy almost every other constitutional right
    And why aren’t you invalidating all the other laws that restrict that? Can we get a list so we can start suing so you can actually deal with it?

    to craft over-inclusive laws that restrict the rights of overwhelmingly law-abiding citizens
    This is the fundamental freedom problem with loads of current laws: they restrict the law-abiding in an effort to prevent the law-abiding from encroaching on illegality. This is the purpose of various Pharisaical laws, like rules on knot-tying; to keep the trespass so far away from the person they can never violate the Law. Of course, it’s considered by Christians to be a curse to do that. But it’s the essence of legalism. It’s one of the foundations of cancel culture.

    To have freedom, you have to keep your laws entirely performance-based. You did X (X = actual act that violates common law or another’s rights) and now you are criminally liable.

    the Constitution needs to apply EQUALLY to ALL
    Holy carp! Equality under the law?! We can’t have that! You’ll put your eye out!

    but rather because it is singularly capable of causing harm
    Which is why we restrict it to law-abiding citizens. And by taking part of the right away, you’re making 18-21 year-olds into non-citizens.

    Yet Judge Wynn reads that as Natalie Marshall being the GREATER danger to the public than her stalker ex-boyfriend.
    No, that’s wrong. The key is that he does not care about her and the danger she’s in, as long as there is some justification, somewhere, that she’s in a group that might have more lawlessness associated with it. (Hey, that sounds a bit bigoted, doesn’t it? Is that ageism, maybe?) (Of course, as long as that group [blacks] isn’t a favored class for the wannabe technocrats.)

    I give you Keith Olbermann
    Why give this guy any oxygen? Please, leave him be and let him wither in the shadows.

    This was an interesting and much needed win
    Can we get it to cross over into the 11th circuit and slap down that stupid law in Florida?

    And, IMO, the simple acknowledgement that 18yos are citizens with full rights is a HUGE win given our current trajectory as a country. Can we do alcohol now?

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