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Attorney General Mayes Urges Court to Uphold Prohibition on Handgun Sales to Individuals Under 21

By on May 25, 2023 0 101Views

Attorney General Kris Mayes last week joined a coalition of 21 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit supporting the federal government’s prohibition on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition by federally-licensed retailers to individuals under the age of 21.

“Protecting our communities from gun violence requires multiple solutions, including laws already on the books,” said Attorney General Mayes. “For nearly 60 years, federal law has prohibited the sale of handguns from federally licensed dealers to individuals under 21. The Second Amendment allows for such age-based restrictions, and I urge the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to affirm the district court ruling and allow this critical safeguard to stand.”

Attorney General Mayes and the coalition explain the Second Amendment allows governments to enact sensible and varied regulations to protect the public, including age-based restrictions on the purchase, possession or use of firearms. Although regulations vary based on each state’s needs, virtually every state has imposed some form of age-based regulations on firearms, and at least 19 states and the District of Columbia have imposed regulations mirroring the federal minimum age requirement of 21 to purchase handguns.

The brief is the most recent step in Attorney General Mayes work to address gun violence throughout Arizona and across the nation. In March, Attorney General Mayes withdrew from a multi-state lawsuit challenging federal efforts to regulate “ghost guns.”

Joining Attorney General Mayes filing the amicus brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.