And the Biden agenda takes another hit after a judge in California of all places stands up for the 2nd Amendment. A United States appeals court in the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit ruled this week that the state’s ban on the sale of semi-automatic weapons to adults under 21-years-of-age was unconstitutional.
The ruling was made by a panel of three judges by a 2 to 1 margin. The panel ruled that the law violated the 2nd Amendment’s right to bear arms and the San Diego judge should have blocked what the panel described as an “almost total ban” on semi-automatic centerfire rifles for young adults.
Judge Ryan Nelson wrote in their ruling, “America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army. Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms.”
The case was brought to court by The Firearms Policy Coalition. When the ruling was given, they responded that it made them optimistic that age-based bans on guns would be overturned in other courts throughout the nation.
Those who support gun rights still have some battles with the courts. They tried to block California from requiring a hunting license for purchasing rifles or shotguns by adults under 21 who do not serve in the military or law enforcement. But the court ruled that the required hunting license was reasonable for increasing public safety through “sensible firearm control.”
The hunting license requirement was passed in 2018 after a series of tragic mass shootings were committed by young adults using rifles. This included the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day.
This law followed a handgun sale ban for those who were under 21.
The case that got the semi-automatic centerfire rifles banned came in 2019 when Matthew Jones, 20-years-old, became a lead plaintiff in the case. Jones, from Santee in San Diego, said that he wanted a gun for self-defense and other purposes within the law, but he did not want a hunting license. Even though his lawsuit was filed before the underage ban on semi-automatic weapons was in place, it was amended to challenge that law that included the hunting license requirement.
Lawyers for Jones argued that the state had “whittled down (the) already inapplicable and irrelevant hunting license ‘exemption’ — the only exemption that is even possible for an ordinary, law-abiding young adult who does not wish to enter into a highly dangerous career in law enforcement or the military — by prohibiting an entire class of firearms.”
The two judges that ruled in favor of the 2nd Amendment were appointed by former President Donald Trump. He was committed to appointing conservative judges to the well-known liberal court in the 9th Circuit of San Francisco. The judge who dissented was U.S. District Court Judge Sidney Stein who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton. He was assigned to the panel from the Southern District of New York.
The law that was shot down was written by Democratic Senator Anthony Portantino. Sen. Portantino said that he was disappointed that the semi-automatic ban was struck down but was pleased that the requirement for a hunting license survived. The senator said that he would stay committed to keeping “deadly weapons” out of the wrong hands.
The decision by the panel is now going to be reviewed by Rob Bonta, the attorney general. A statement from his office said that they were committed to defending the state’s “commonsense gun laws.”