Appeals court: Dealers can sell handguns to 18-year-olds

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FILE – In this March 25, 2020, file photo semi-automatic handguns are displayed at shop in New Castle, Pa. The number of people stopped from buying guns though the U.S. background check system hit an all-time high of more than 300,000 last year amid a surge of firearm sales, according to new records obtained by the group Everytown for Gun Safety. The FBI numbers provided to The Associated Press show the background checks blocked nearly twice as many gun sales in 2020 as in the year before. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — An appeals court has ruled that a federal law banning licensed firearms dealers from selling handguns to young adults between age 18 and 21 is unconstitutional.

In a 2-1 opinion Tuesday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond overturned a lower court ruling upholding the law, which has been in place since 1968.

Judge Julius Richardson wrote that the law relegates both the right to bear arms and young adults under age 21 to second-class status.

The chief counsel at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence called the ruling a “very dangerous” and “clearly incorrect” decision. The Biden administration has the option to appeal the ruling.

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