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Brady Decries Decision in 9th Circuit, Striking Down California’s Age-Based Firearm Sale Law

Washington, D.C., May 13, 2022 - Today, Brady reiterates the constitutionality of age-based firearm sale regulations, following a decision by a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down California’s law banning the sale of semiautomatic weapons to adults under 21.

Brady Chief Counsel and Vice President for Legal Jonathan Lowy stated:

“This ruling is outrageous and without precedent. Americans have the right to enact strong laws to protect their families and communities from gun violence, and the Second Amendment was never intended to force us all to live in the gun lobby’s guns-for-everyone-and-everywhere dystopia. It is not unreasonable for California to decide that teenagers who can’t legally buy a Michelob or a martini should not be able to buy a Glock or a Beretta. States have the authority, and the responsibility, to reasonably regulate the sale and use of firearms, including age-based restrictions on gun sales. The fact that young adults used guns in well-regulated revolutionary armies, as the Court noted, does not mean that 21-year-olds in 2022 have a Second Amendment right to purchase a semiautomatic weapon to use as they see fit.

The truth is, more Californians will be shot if this decision is allowed to stand. Increasingly in gun litigation, thoughtful analysis is being replaced by extremist ideology, history is disregarded for ‘alternate facts,” and what used to be fringe, extremist gun lobby rhetoric is becoming constitutional law. Americans should not stand for a nation in which ideological inventions deprive them of their democratic right to make strong public safety laws. Decisions like this will create chaos, especially if the U.S. Supreme Court reinvents Second Amendment regulations in deciding NYSRPA v. Bruen this spring. Common-sense gun laws are under attack, and we cannot allow an extremist ideology to roll back these public safety laws.”

About California’s Age-Based Purchasing Law:

In 2018, the California Legislature passed SB 1100, a statute preventing the sale of semiautomatic firearms to any person under 21-years-old. The law updated California’s previous restrictions regarding semiautomatic firearm sales and went into effect on July 1, 2021.

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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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