BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and Calguns Foundation are seeking an injunction against a section of California’s penal code that prohibits young adults, ages 18-20 from purchasing or acquiring firearms, and they are asking the federal court to declare this prohibition to be unconstitutional.
Joining SAF and Calguns are the Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, a local business and three private citizens. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The plaintiffs are represented by lead counsel John W. Dillon of Carlsbad, California-based Gatzke Dillon & Balance LLP. A copy of the court filing can be accessed at www.firearmspolicy.org/legal.
“We’re going to court against this law because it clearly violates the Second and Fourteenth amendment rights of young adults,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “When a citizen turns 18 years old in this country, he or she is considered a legal adult, free to exercise their rights under the Constitution, and that certainly should include the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
“But this California law turns that concept on its ear, with very few exceptions, such as possessing a valid hunting license,” he added. “But our individual plaintiffs do not hunt, and have no intention of pretending to be hunters, just to exercise their constitutional rights.”
The law in question is Penal Code 27510, an onerous regulation that prohibits licensed dealers from selling, supplying or delivering firearms to any person under age 21. Because of this, say SAF and its fellow plaintiffs, the law violates the rights of the plaintiffs and citizens in the 18-to-20 age group.
“Once individuals turn eighteen, they are adults in the eyes of the law,” explained John W. Dillon. “Law-abiding adults are entitled to fully exercise all of their fundamental rights, including their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for all lawful purposes, not just hunting or sport.”
“The Second Amendment is not a second-class right and adults over the age of eighteen but under twenty-one are not second-class people,” said FPC President and FPF Chairman Brandon Combs. “This case seeks to restore the Second Amendment human rights of legal adults who are being prevented from exercising them because of unconstitutional laws, policies, practices, customs that the State of California defendants are known to enforce.”
“The Second Amendment fully applies to all non-prohibited adults, period,” commented Calguns Foundation Chairman Gene Hoffman. “California cannot deny a fundamental, enumerated right to adults over the age of 18 that have no disqualifying criminal or mental health history.”