The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and its partners in a federal lawsuit challenging the prohibition of handgun sales to young adults have filed an appellant’s brief with the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The case is known as Reese v. ATF.
Joining SAF are the Louisiana Shooting Association, Firearms Policy Coalition and two private citizens, Emily Naquin and Caleb Reese, for whom the case is known. They are represented by attorneys David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson and William V. Bergstrom at Cooper & Kirk; George J. Armbruster, III at Armbruster & Associates; Joseph Greenlee, FPC Action Foundation; John W. Dillon at the Dillon Law Group; Raymond M. DiGuiseppe, DiGuiseppe Law Firm and Adam Kraut at SAF.
Defendants are the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, its director, Steven Dettelbach and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
At issue is the ban on licensed handgun sales to law-abiding 18-to-20-year-old adults, because this prohibition is at odds with the Second Amendment, SAF and its partners contend.
“At the time the Second Amendment was adopted,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “there were no restrictions on the rights of 18-to-20-year-olds to keep and bear arms because of their age. Indeed, people in that age group, because as Americans they were in the civilian militia, were actually required to acquire firearms.
“Young adults over age 18,” he added, “can exercise other constitutional rights. They can vote, get married, enter into contracts, start businesses, run for office, join the military where they may fight and die for their country, but they can’t legally buy a handgun because of existing laws.”
“There is no historical regulation from any relevant time period that supports this handgun ban for young adults,” said SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut, a practicing attorney representing the group in this case. “Under last year’s Bruen ruling, the appeals court must review this case by determining whether the plain text of the Second Amendment covers the conduct prohibited by the handgun ban. We think the lower court erred in its initial ruling because there is no historical evidence of any such ban for people in the 18-to-20-year age group.”