View Full Version : How will incorporation affect age restrictions on gun ownership?

01-30-2009, 12:16 PM
Currently, you must be 21 to purchase a handgun in CA. I understand there is federal legislation being considered that may prevent anyone under 21 from owning a gun. Once it is established as a right, will the state (or feds) be able to stop an 18 year old from purchasing a handgun? What if someone becomes emancipated before they turn 18? Would they be deprived of their right to self defense? Or does that right not exist until you turn 18? Or 21?

I know there are easy ways around the CA law. E.g. gifting. However, I'm interested in how these laws may be applied and challenged.

01-30-2009, 12:37 PM
This will probably get me in trouble here, but the way I would suggest the law be written is that the parents or legal guardian have absolute discretion until the age of majority, which should probably be 18 as that is compatible with plenty of other laws. The law should reinforce the parents' authority and not diminish it, and also there are currently laws that give the parent liability for what the child does. Liability must imply authority. It is also compatible with current laws that need parental consent for, say, firearms instruction, and the ability of a minor to legally possess a firearm with (sometimes written) parental consent. That should be made the simple, consistent rule across the board.

Exceptions for things like emancipated minors would not bother me (if they are legally responsible for themselves, then they should be able to defend themselves), but I'm just talking about the ordinary case and not worrying about such issues. This would bring the law the closest to the way we've always successfully trained children with guns--you have to earn daddy's (grandpa's/momma's/big brother's) trust in your maturity, and keep demonstrating it.


01-30-2009, 12:55 PM
An interesting question.

It's currently Federal law that an FFL may not transfer a handgun to someone not yet 21; I believe California law extends that to anyone, outside the intrafamilial route.

At the moment, those who are 18 may vote and make and be held to contracts. Their other major disability is drinking alcohol.

There is a movement of sorts (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26352179/) to change the drinking age to 18.

I don't think Sheila Jackson-Lee's "H.R.257 : To prevent children's access to firearms." is going to get very far. Among other things, it restricts transferring 'semi automatic assault weapons' to under-21 -- and there is no Federal definition of such a thing. (Yes, someone else is going to offer to reinstate the AW ban and provide the missing definition, but this is a poorly drafted bill.)

Additional restrictions on 18, 19 and 20 year olds are not the Wave Of The Future, IMHO.

I wish there were some other, fairly implementable, criteria besides age to work with. There are plenty of 30+ year old people I don't trust to act as adults.

01-30-2009, 1:37 PM
Probably not, incorporation wont change anything. Even in Montana, a legal adult 18-20 cant buy a handgun from a dealer. It's a federal law which was part of the '68 gun control act. It's a stupid law, which does nothing but restrict the freedom of legal adults. If I can own a high powered rifle at 18, why cant I own a .22LR pistol? Dumb..