Handgun Restrictions are Part of Longstanding Regulatory Tradition.

Washington, D.C., December 5, 2022 — A federal law forbidding the sale of handguns to individuals under 21 years of age is part of a longstanding tradition of regulations that restrict firearms for those who pose a heightened risk of violence and is therefore constitutional, Brady said in an amicus brief filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The full brief is available here.

Plaintiffs brought the suit against the federal government in June, challenging 18 U.S.C. § 922(c), which forbids federally licensed dealers from selling handguns to individuals under the age of 21. The suit is the latest example of gun laws being challenged across the U.S. following New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. Brady joined with the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in filing the brief.

The brief explains how the age-based restrictions are consistent with a historical tradition of firearm restrictions on specific groups of people, and details evidence that supports the law and its effectiveness in reducing gun violence. About 12.8% of high-profile public mass shootings are committed by people under 21.

Brady Counsel Shira Feldman shared:

"The Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen makes very clear that laws like this are constitutional, and this brief underscores these laws’ necessity in reducing gun violence.”

Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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