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Under-21-Year-Olds and Guns in Illinois:

Federal law makes it harder for 18-to-20-year-olds to get handguns, and some states prohibit it outright; yet nearly all states at least allow 18-to-20-year-olds to have long guns.

Except, it turns out, for Illinois, where state law bars 18-to-20-year-olds from possessing any gun -- including a stun gun -- unless they (1) have a parent or legal guardian's written consent, (2) haven't been convicted of any misdemeanor other than a traffic offense, and (3) the consenting parent or guardian isn't himself barred from owning a gun.

This means that if you're an 18-to-20-year-old and both your parents are dead, or if your living parent or parents have been convicted of felonies or certain misdemeanors, or if your living parent or parents have recently been mental patients, or if your living parent or parents are in the U.S. on a nonimmigrant alien visa, you can't possess any sort of gun in Illinois. If your parents are around and not disqualified, then your right to own a gun turns on your parents' permission -- something that to my knowledge doesn't happen as to anything else for adults.

Oddly, if your parents aren't nonimmigrant visitors to the U.S., but are instead foreigners who aren't in the U.S. in the first place, then they can indeed give you permission to buy a gun -- they can't just do it once they've been admitted to the U.S. under a nonimmigrant visa.

By the way, the Illinois Constitution provides, "Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The Illinois Supreme Court has held that, though handgun bans are allowed under the police power, "individual citizens" do have "a right to possess some form of weapon suitable for self-defense or recreation" (emphasis added) and "that a ban on all firearms that an individual citizen might use would not be permissible." Kalodimos v. Village of Morton Grove, 470 N.E.2d 266, 273 (Ill. 1984).

Queries: The age of majority in Illinois was 21 in 1970, when the right was enacted; it wasn't lowered to 18 until 1971. Does the right not fully apply to under-21-year-olds, the way some constitutional rights today don't fully apply to under-18-year-olds (consider the right to sexual autonomy, the right to marry, the right to abortion, which could be limited through certain kinds of parental consent laws, and likely the right to bear arms itself)? Or does the right apply to all adult citizens (unless otherwise disqualified by reason of felony conviction or the like) under today's age of majority, regardless of what the age of majority was at the time? Or has the right always extended to everyone 18 and above, regardless of the age of majority for other purposes?

Also, what would the answer be under a Second Amendment that's incorporated against the states, if such incorporation takes place? These questions would also have some importance in other states that allow long gun possession for 18-to-20-year-olds but ban handgun possession until age 21, and also as to the federal government, which makes handguns harder for under-21-year-olds to acquire.

Note also that when the age of majority was 21, presumably 18-to-20-year-olds could get a guardian if both parents were dead. Now that the age of majority is 18, I take it that it's impossible for them to get a guardian even if they wanted one in order to get the guardian's permission to own a gun.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Under-21-Year-Olds Banned from Possessing Any Firearms in New York City?
  2. Under-21-Year-Olds and Guns in Illinois:
therut (mail):
Back in the dark ages B.C (before Clinton) an 18 year old could own a handgun. I did. I had it in my dorm room in 1980's all legal. Funny that.
12.19.2008 7:05pm
therut (mail):
I should add ----you know that but others may not.
12.19.2008 7:06pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
As I understand it, in many states 18-year-olds can still own handguns, though under federal law they may not buy own from a gun dealer. Please correct me if I'm mistaken on this.
12.19.2008 7:20pm
CPDL:
It's interesting to me the hierarchy we've established among our constitutional rights. A 20-year-old in Illinois cannot exercise her Second Amendment rights without parental consent. Yet the same individual could have exercised her penumbral abortion rights for years without parental consent.
12.19.2008 7:32pm
CPDL:
Hit "send" too soon. I meant to add: Now, perhaps the fundamental right to parent should play a role vis-a-vis children's constitutional rights in these two realms. But to the extent that it should, it seems to me that Illinois has it exactly backwards.
12.19.2008 7:37pm
mariner:
Professor V,

You are correct.
12.19.2008 7:38pm
Anon21:
CPDL:
It's interesting to me the hierarchy we've established among our constitutional rights. A 20-year-old in Illinois cannot exercise her Second Amendment rights without parental consent. Yet the same individual could have exercised her penumbral abortion rights for years without parental consent.

She could also have been exercising her First Amendment rights for years without parental consent, invoking any number of criminal procedural protections for years without parental consent, been entitled to the equal protection of the laws without parental consent...what's your point in bringing up abortion, exactly? Oh, yes--it's a right you don't like.

The only issue here seems to be that Second Amendment rights in Illinois are specially disfavored. The comparison to constitutionally protected privacy interests is not instructive.
12.19.2008 7:47pm
Fidelity (mail) (www):
Serving in the military was not mentioned. If a country can demand your life, then why not grant you the rights it grants to all citizens? I was trained with a M9 pistol before I could buy one. I was trusted with fully automatic weapons, while over seas, but not here in the States.

Not to mention I signed the enlistment papers all by myself, when I was still 17. I figure if I could sign away my life, to be taught how to kill people, I could also own a pistol.
12.19.2008 7:56pm
CDR D (mail):
>>> I figure if I could sign away my life, to be taught how to kill people, I could also own a pistol.


<<<

Ah, but that is precisely why you can't be trusted with a firearm.

You are a trained killer. If you are not in the employment of government slugs, well, you... ESPECIALLY YOU...need to be segregated from "normal" sheeple society.

Oh, they'll throw a few roses on your grave on Veterans Day.
12.19.2008 8:37pm
Careless:

She could also have been exercising her First Amendment rights for years without parental consent, invoking any number of criminal procedural protections for years without parental consent, been entitled to the equal protection of the laws without parental consent...what's your point in bringing up abortion, exactly? Oh, yes--it's a right you don't like.

The difference, it seems to me, is that I can read the first Amendment and say "huh, there's a right to free speech." I can read the second and say "hey, I can own a gun!"

I could scour the Constitution for hours and fail to guess a basis for a right to abortion, and if I did guess, I'd never be able to guess the basis the courts gave. It takes a significant amount of work to educate people in the basis for the right to abortion (try explaining it to a foreigner some time)

If we're getting into the ranking of importance of rights, should "actually exist in the text" be a reasonable basis for a ranking? I'd say yes.


(I support abortion rights, but want to see them legislated in or Amendmented in. I'd vote for either)
12.19.2008 9:56pm
bacchys (mail):
Even leaving the Second Amendment out of view, I don't see how laws like this aren't violations of the equal protection clause. I don't see how a minimum age to possess or consume alcohol that's more than the age of majority doesn't violate the equal protection clause.
12.19.2008 10:05pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
your right to own a gun turns on your parents' permission -- something that to my knowledge doesn't happen as to anything else for adults.
18-year-olds cannot buy beer either. They do not fully have adult rights until they are 21. It has been this way for a very long time. What's the problem?
12.19.2008 10:39pm
Deep Lurker (mail):

18-year-olds cannot buy beer either. They do not fully have adult rights until they are 21. It has been this way for a very long time. What's the problem?


The 26th Amendment.

If 18-20 year olds don't fully have adult rights, that's fine - as long as they aren't saddled with full adult duties, either. But if they are expected to undertake the full range of adult duties, then they deserve the full range of adult rights, privileges, and immunities as well.

So either 18-20 year olds are adults. Or else they are not.

Pick one.

And stick to it.
12.19.2008 10:52pm
Sergei Zhulik (mail) (www):
Even leaving the Second Amendment out of view, I don't see how laws like this aren't violations of the equal protection clause. I don't see how a minimum age to possess or consume alcohol that's more than the age of majority doesn't violate the equal protection clause.

I think the answer here is that age is not a class subject to protection under strict scrutiny. (Cf, race, color, religion, or national origin, which are.) Indeed, even intermediate scrutiny isn't applied, as with gender. So, the Equal Protection inquiry would raise only the question of whether the distinction between 18-to-20 year olds and citizens of older age a) serves some legitimate state interest, that b) relates rationally to the policy. Remember, this inquiry is highly deferential to the policy under examination.

So, since a) there could (arguably) be a state interest in ensuring bearing arms by individuals not Constitutionally entitled to the right be limited to the mature, and b) the policy at issue seems to relate somewhat to the furtherance of this interest--the Equal Protection challenge would probably be pretty futile.

Of course, this presupposes two things: first, the Second Amendment isn't incorporated to the states, and second, the Illinois Constitution doesn't extend firearms rights to pre-1970 "minors." And if either of these conditions prove unsound, then the Equal Protection challenge becomes irrelevant.

Perhaps this helps?
12.19.2008 11:00pm
John Moore (www):
When I was a kid in Lawrence, Kansas, I had several rifles that I often carried around on my walks in the woods, or carried in my car. When I attended KU there, I had to check my weapons at the dorm gun-room before heading up to my room (if I didn't just leave them in the car).

Funny thing... we didn't have any juvenile gun violence.

Also, when I was a combat air crewman in the Navy, I couldn't buy liquor because I was too young.

Laws are odd.
12.19.2008 11:16pm
traveler496:
Deep Lurker:
If 18-20 year olds don't fully have adult rights, that's fine - as long as they aren't saddled with full adult duties, either. But if they are expected to undertake the full range of adult duties, then they deserve the full range of adult rights, privileges, and immunities as well.

I'm guessing that you don't like the fact that 21 year olds can't become President either. Am I right? Or if I'm wrong, is it because you now agree that it makes sense for the age threshhold for some rights to differ from that for others?
12.19.2008 11:45pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):

This means that if you're an 18-to-20-year-old and both your parents are dead, or if your living parent or parents have been convicted of felonies or certain misdemeanors, or if your living parent or parents have recently been mental patients, or if your living parent or parents are in the U.S. on a nonimmigrant alien visa, you can't possess any sort of gun in Illinois. If your parents are around and not disqualified, then your right to own a gun turns on your parents' permission -- something that to my knowledge doesn't happen as to anything else for adults.


Hey, in NYC, the only proof of residency the police department will take when applying for a pistol permit is a phone bill- no bill, no gun (but it'll probably be no gun anyway).
12.19.2008 11:50pm
Anon21:
Careless:
The difference, it seems to me, is that I can read the first Amendment and say "huh, there's a right to free speech." I can read the second and say "hey, I can own a gun!"

I could scour the Constitution for hours and fail to guess a basis for a right to abortion, and if I did guess, I'd never be able to guess the basis the courts gave. It takes a significant amount of work to educate people in the basis for the right to abortion (try explaining it to a foreigner some time)

If we're getting into the ranking of importance of rights, should "actually exist in the text" be a reasonable basis for a ranking? I'd say yes.

My point is and was that CDPL is simply shoehorning a discussion of the legitimacy of constitutional privacy rights into a context in which it's irrelevant, using a comparison that essentially fails to support the main argument he's making in his post, in that the right to terminate a pregnancy is the only constitutional right that I know of, other that the RKBA, which courts have formally subjected to parental veto in the case of minors. If one seeks to make a point about the injustice of denying a particular right on the basis of age, choosing the only other right which features age-based limitations as a comparison point completely fails to support the argument. If CDPL's aim was simply to turn this comment thread into a snipefest on the legitimacy of Roe, he might have skipped bringing up the actual topic of the post at all.
12.19.2008 11:53pm
Sergei Zhulik (mail) (www):
Anon21:

I think you're pretty much spot on if we assume that Illinois' law implicates the Federal Constitution's Second Amendment. Of course, the courts have never expressly incorporated said Amendment (perhaps this could trigger a test case?). But, if we analyze the law on that assumption, we get the following result:

-Two hurdles significantly bootstrap Illinois' enforcement of its law as written:
a) Strict scrutiny
In passing a law that directly infringes on Second Amendment rights, Illinois would then have to justify that it's narrowly construed to effect a compelling state interest. Perhaps ensuring maturity/responsibility amongst gun owners is a compelling state interest, especially in light of the Preambles overtures to "domestic Tranguility" and the "general Welfare." But even if we accept that much, the law is obviously both overbroad and underinclusive. If maturity and/or responsibility is the gauge, what about the model-citizen 20-year-old without guardians? What about the deadbeat 40-year-old otherwise able to bear arms? Also, keep in mind that where strict scrutiny gets applied, the policy under consideration is almost invariably invalidated.
(b) Bill of Attainder
18-to-20 year old Illini are a particular group that may exhibit some characteristics in the aggregate; but their isolation as a group whose otherwise legal activities would be criminal requires a pretty convincing showing that members of this group are so similar in such distinct ways that their exposure to strict criminal liability is justifiable. I refer you to US v. Brown, 381 U.S. 437 (1965) on that point. There, the Taft-Harley Act criminalized any instance where a) a member of the Communist Party b) held an executive position in a labor organization. The actual culpability of a Communist Party member didn't matter. If he were nonetheless an avowed pacifist committed to stikes as only recourses of last resort, it wouldn't have changed his criminality. His or her mere membership in the organization automatically triggered criminal liability for an action otherwise perfectly legal. This is the exact sort of law the Framers sought to prevent--Lawyers being criminals if they were also Tories, clergymen being criminals for their ecclesiastic pedigree, etc. Even assuming that Illinois could overcome the considerable strict-scrutiny hurdle, it's doubtful they could argue this policy is not a bill of attainder. And since it seems to be, Art. I forbids it.

Also, it's interesting to note that the Bill of Attainder hurdle may invalidate the current law even without Second Amendment incorporation to the states. See Art. I Sect. 10 Clause 1
12.20.2008 1:04am
James Gibson (mail):
Fidelity made the point that 18 year olds can serve in the military and bare arms but in Illinois they can not own them. But what of the State militia. Illinois has to have a definition of militia if militia is embedded in its Constitution. If said definition includes males under 22 years of age by what right does a State have to bare these males from owning arms and yet, without the permission of their parents, (probably against the parents wishes) does the State have the right to force them to bare arms and possible die in the name of defending the State.

It comes back to the old Vietnam issue of young men not having the vote, yet they could be drafted into the Army and forced to die for their country. People like Tom Hayden protested this situation when they were younger but when these 60's gen people became older adults they put things right back the way they used to be.
12.20.2008 1:49am
Kirk:
Geez, what a despicable place Illinois seems to be! Anyone from there care to respond with some defense of why this particular law is even ethical?
12.20.2008 2:29am
Kolohe:
I'm guessing that you don't like the fact that 21 year olds can't become President either. Am I right? Or if I'm wrong, is it because you now agree that it makes sense for the age threshhold for some rights to differ from that for others?

In the commonwealth of Virginia, if you are 20 years 10 months, driving with a single drink in your system can result in 2500 dollar fine a year in jail and loss of license for a year. One month later, if you are 21 years and 1 day, this is not a crime. This is equal protection?

Also, in Virginia, To work in a restaurant that serves alcohol, you must be at least 18 years old; to be a bartender, the minimum age is 2; and in order to transport, handle or sell alcoholic beverages in a liquor store (in virginia, all state owned - beer and wine can be sold in grocery stores), you must be at least 16 years old. This makes sense?

Virginia treats any providing of alcohol to someone under 21 under the same rule (the same as giving to someone who is visibly intoxicated). Other jurisdictions, however, I think call giving alcohol to a 19 year old as 'contributing to the deliquency of a minor' (or at least 'giving alcohol to a minor') Yet, that same 'minor' is charged as an adult if he or she gets into legal trouble.

Like the man said, pick an age and stick to it. The rule for senate or pres age has no bearing on this any more than the social security age does.

If you think there are practical reasons for a 21 year old drinking age, while treating them as adults beforehand for nearly every other thing, then why don't you advocate similar prohibitions for Native Americans who have statistically much higher alcoholism rates than the general population of the US?
12.20.2008 3:13am
ShelbyC:



your right to own a gun turns on your parents' permission -- something that to my knowledge doesn't happen as to anything else for adults.

18-year-olds cannot buy beer either. They do not fully have adult rights until they are 21. It has been this way for a very long time. What's the problem?



They can't buy beer with or without their parent's permission.
12.20.2008 4:41am
Philistine (mail):

They can't buy beer with or without their parent's permission.


But in many States, they can drink it with their parent's permission and in their presence. Much like the situation with 18-20 year-olds and handguns--they can't buy one, but can have them with parental permission.
12.20.2008 8:06am
some dude:

Except, it turns out, for Illinois, where state law bars 18-to-20-year-olds from possessing any gun -- including a stun gun -- unless they (1) have a parent or legal guardian's written consent,

I didn't even know 18-21 year olds even had legal guardians. Learn something new every day.
12.20.2008 12:09pm
Oren:
They can't buy beer with or without their parent's permission.
So, it's OK to totally revoke their right to consume alcohol but not OK to revoke it partially? Doesn't the greater power necessarily cover the lesser?
12.20.2008 12:10pm
gasman (mail):

In the commonwealth of Virginia, if you are 20 years 10 months, driving with a single drink in your system can result in 2500 dollar fine a year in jail and loss of license for a year. One month later, if you are 21 years and 1 day, this is not a crime. This is equal protection?

20 years and 10 months, one month later and 21 years?
So much for math literacy in this country.
12.20.2008 3:06pm
ReaderY:
States don't have to have a single age of majority for all things, and historical tradition of 21 as an age of majority plus the fact that a number of other matters -- such as alcohol -- use that age in many states (while other matters, such as driving, use an age lower than 18), I don't see a constitutional problem. States simply aren't required to poise the issue in the stark binary one-age-for-all-purposes the question seems to impose. A state can use a range of ages for different purposes, at least so long as the cutoffs have some reasonable basis and the historical and copntinuing use of 21 clearly gives them one.

If the age were 65 the answer would be different, but the difference between 18 and 21 simply isn't sufficiently stark an outlier to be a present a constitutional problem.
12.20.2008 7:26pm
AMichiganWolverine:
Professor Volokh:

Would a non-resident moving accross the country face the prospect of criminal prosecution for driving through Illinois with guns in their uhaul? So a handgun owner who has a legally purchased pistol who chooses to travel on I-80 or I-70 to move could be charged, as could a 20 year old travelling from Ohio to a hunting trip in Montana.
12.21.2008 1:43am
bacchys (mail):
You can't be a member of Congress before you're 25, or a member of the Senate until you're 30. Unlike prohibitions against possessing a firearm or alcohol, those age restrictions are written into the Constitution.

I don't think it's impermissible for a state to set a higher age as the age of majority, but I don't think it fits under the equal protection clause to create essentially a second class citizenship, one in which the citizen is held accountable as an adult before the law for his actions, can enter into (and compelled to honour) contracts, vote, enter military service and put his life to the service of the country, but cannot defend himself by the most effective means or enjoy like his fellow adult citizens the country's most popular social drug.
12.21.2008 11:08am
pintler:

Would a non-resident moving accross the country face the prospect of criminal prosecution for driving through Illinois with guns in their uhaul? So a handgun owner who has a legally purchased pistol who chooses to travel on I-80 or I-70 to move could be charged, as could a 20 year old travelling from Ohio to a hunting trip in Montana


Not EV, but 18 USC 926a:

"Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm ...[if unloaded etc]"

I have heard discussion of e.g. how long you can stay in IL w/o it becoming your destination - stopping for gas? Spending the night in a motel? Visiting relatives for a weekend? AFAIK those issues haven't been litigated.
12.21.2008 11:13am
Kirk:
pintler, you say in regard to 18 USC 926a, "AFAIK those issues haven't been litigated."

That's a huge problem, as that section pretty much assumes that the state and its representatives will be dealing in good faith; an assumption that in the case of Illinois or NYC is completely unwarranted.
12.21.2008 12:00pm
Deep Lurker (mail):
Traveler496:


Deep Lurker:
If 18-20 year olds don't fully have adult rights, that's fine - as long as they aren't saddled with full adult duties, either. But if they are expected to undertake the full range of adult duties, then they deserve the full range of adult rights, privileges, and immunities as well.

I'm guessing that you don't like the fact that 21 year olds can't become President either. Am I right? Or if I'm wrong, is it because you now agree that it makes sense for the age threshhold for some rights to differ from that for others?


I don't consider being President (or Senator, or Representative) to be a right. And even if it were, an exception carved out in the Constitution deserves more respect than one that's merely a matter of law.

I'm guessing that you'd be fine with raising the legal drinking age to 30 years old, as has been occasionally suggested. Am I right? Or if I'm wrong, is it because you'd consider such a law to be fundamentally unjust, or only because you'd consider it mere "bad public policy"?
12.21.2008 12:23pm
ReaderY:
What makes the situation any different from speed limits, or voting, or alcohol, or the man and the teenage woman who was his married wife in Kansas but the victim of his child molestation in Nebraska? What makes it different from the case of Dred Scott, a free man in Illinois but the property of a man named Sanford in Missouri?

In fact the arguments being given here seem remarkably like those Sanford raised. I think Sandford's argument was bogus then and I think it's bogus today.

You enter a state, you have to abide by its laws so long as they are independently constitutional. Congress can pass legislation creating exceptions for travellers but frankly, it doesn't have to.

We haven't given up the concept of federalism in more than two hundred years over thousands of issues like these, many of great import. What makes this issue any different?
12.21.2008 12:31pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Careless:

I could scour the Constitution for hours and fail to guess a basis for a right to abortion, and if I did guess, I'd never be able to guess the basis the courts gave. It takes a significant amount of work to educate people in the basis for the right to abortion (try explaining it to a foreigner some time)


Would you think that bills of attainder would be unconstitutional under the due process clause even if not mentioned specifically in the body of the document?

What about arbitrary and indefinite imprisonment by the executive? Even without the habeas corpus suspension clause?

Does a woman have a constitutional right to an abortion when this would save her life under the life guarantee in the 4th and 14th amendments? If so, where do you draw the line on liberty?
12.21.2008 7:17pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
ReaderY: I am not entirely sure about your examples.

For example, Louisiana does not recognize common law as a part of its legal tradition and instead relies on the Naponeonic Code. Among other differences, this prohibits the courts from recognizing common-law marriages.

However, suppose you have a couple who legally is in a common-law marriage in Washington State who then moves to Louisiana. Louisiana law then considers the common-law marriage to be legal but not if they had lived that time in Louisiana instead. Hence the marriage is not annulled when the couple relocates.

Now consider a different case. Suppose a 19-year-old who owns a handgun moves to Illinois. Is he suddenly now a criminal? Does this mean that the deprivation of his property legal under the 4th and 14th amendments?

If we hold with the Dred Scott logic, one must conclude that the state cannot criminalize such possession in that case. I would also wonder if the case of the teenage bride in Kansas would not suffer a status change if, after getting married, the couple moved to a state where the marriage wouldn't be valid (IANAL though).

So we are left with the idea that this law could be fundamentally different well beyond the 2A ramifications.
12.21.2008 7:33pm
Yankev (mail):

When I was a kid in Lawrence, Kansas, I had several rifles that I often carried around on my walks in the woods, or carried in my car. When I attended KU there, I had to check my weapons at the dorm gun-room before heading up to my room (if I didn't just leave them in the car).
I learned to shoot a .22 rifle at a YMCA camp in Illinois when I was 11, along with kids as young as 8. The camp had kids from the subrubs and the city, including some from tough neighborhoods or rough families. No one thought the Y was contributing to anyone's delinquency.
12.22.2008 9:19am
A McBeth:
All 'gun control' laws and regulation violate the Second Amendment: '. . . shall not be infringed.' They also violate a basic premise of American justice by presuming posession of an inanimate object to be a crime instead of looking at a person's actions: "Innocent until proven guilty".
These two thing are part of the basis of American freedom as originally intended by the Founders that have been abandoned (or deliberately destroyed) by our government.


From Webster's 1913 dictionary:

\In*fringe"\, v. t. [imp. &p. p. {Infringed}; p. pr. &
vb. n. {Infringing}.] [L. infringere; pref. in- in + frangere, to break. See {Fraction}, and cf. {Infract} .]

1. To break; to violate; to transgress; to neglect to fulfill or obey; as, to infringe a law or contract.

If the first that did the edict infringe, Had
answered for his deed. --Shak.

The peace . . . was infringed by Appius Claudius.
--Golding.

2. To hinder; to destroy; as, to infringe efficacy; to
infringe delight or power. [Obs.] --Hooker.


\In*fringe"\, v. i.
1. To break, violate, or transgress some contract, rule, or
law; to injure; to offend.

2. To encroach; to trespass; -- followed by on or upon; as,
to infringe upon the rights of another.
12.22.2008 12:09pm
dm60462 (mail):

your right to own a gun turns on your parents' permission -- something that to my knowledge doesn't happen as to anything else for adults.


In Illinois I am prohibited from EVER posessing my own birth certificate. irreagrdless of my age and could only learn teh names of my parents are if I had their permission. Since I am prohibited from seeing my own birth certificate, I am unable to ask "Pretty, please, can you tell me who I am?"
12.22.2008 12:54pm
ParatrooperJJ (mail):
Parents on nonimmigrant visas who have a hunting license can posess firearms under federal law.
12.22.2008 5:31pm
fr8dog (mail):
When I was a kid, I had the following significant birthdays:
6: Got a BB gun
8: Got a .22 rifle, (assuming no screw ups with the BB gun)
10: Got any rifle I wanted: (Ditto previous conditions)
14: Got any gun I wanted: ( '' '' '' )

And here's something even more astounding> But first a WARNING to all Liberals. Close your eyes so as not to be shocked and appalled. Thanks.
When entering High School, we brought our .22 rifles to class. No, the halls didn't run red with blood from shoot-outs. So why were we allowed to do something sooo Politically Incorrect and "dangerous"? In those distant by-gone ages most High Schools had rifle teams and we were ENCOURAGED to bring guns to school. So here's the question. If from past experience it appears that guns in the hands of teen-agers or those even younger, caused no problems; what's changed?
12.22.2008 7:40pm
Woodpiggie:
A known Liar with troubling and outright dangerous associations is about to assume the presidency of the US.

His opinions on gun ownership along with his voting record in the Ill. State Senate and cabinet appointments strongly suggest that he will attempt to legislate, regulate and/or con us out of our 2nd Ammendment rights, the firewall which is our only solid defense against the kind of abusive treatment and murderous episodes that have tinged world history blood red, and are still happening to unarmed (disarmed) people even as I hit these keys. We call them "Holocosts", "Shoa", "Genocide", "Ethnic Cleansing", "Liquidation", etc. and we say "NEVER AGAIN", every time! Common to all of these horrors is an inability of victims to confront perpetrators with sufficient firepower to exact a meaningful cost.

We cannot alllow it to happen here, no matter what form our resistance must take. Hopefully awareness, the pen, and the ballot box will suffice.
12.22.2008 11:33pm
Mike Stollenwerk (mail) (www):
This is a great topic - sub-normal age of majority restrictions on owning ordinary and guns and carrying them openly are very constitutionally suspect. Recently the South Carolina Supreme Court struck down a state statute banning handgun ownership by those 18-20 on the grounds that the state's age of majority is 18. See State v. Bolin, --- S.E.2d ----, 2008 WL 2078141, 2 (S.C. 2008).

But let's review the law on this overall -- federal law only bars 18-20 year olds from buying handguns from dealers -- these adults can still as a matter of federal law buy handguns in private sales in their state of residence and carry them around with them.

Further, most states do not ban private (non-dealer) transfers of handguns or require parental permission of 18-20 year olds to buy or own handguns or long guns. See map at http://www.opencarry.org/privatetransfers.html.

And most states allow 18-20 year olds to openly carry handguns without any permit. See map at http://www.opencarry.org/age.html.

Mike Stollenwerk
Co-founder, OpenCarry.org
12.23.2008 11:59am

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