United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- When are you old enough to exercise your rights? This is a question that, quite frankly, America has been of multiple minds on. Just in terms of our Second Amendment rights, one can buy a long gun from a federally licensed dealer at 18, but must wait until reaching the age of 21 to purchase a handgun from the same dealer according to 18 USC 922. Oddly enough, possession of a handgun by someone from ages 18-20 is legal.
It doesn’t make any sense.
After all, at 18, people are considered old enough to serve in the military and to vote. They are also considered adults in terms of responsibility for criminal actions. Yet they are considered too young to smoke or drink. In fact, when the Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed, the voting age was still 21. That did not change until the 26th Amendment was ratified in 1971.
Fortunately, on the Second Amendment front, Senator Cynthia Lummus (R-WY) and Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) have introduced S 1373 and HR 2890 to change that. In one sense, it’s flipping Dianne Feinstein’s Age 21 Act around to advance our Second Amendment rights. Similar legislation was not introduced in the last Congress, and that has been a mistake over the years.
When one considers the increasing momentum of concealed carry, especially given that roughly 40 percent of the states have constitutional carry, such a move is logical, especially given federal law on possession of handguns. If anything, Second Amendment supporters should feel disappointment in members of Congress for not taking this on.
One of the biggest reasons is that it undercuts Feinstein’s Age 21 Act, and makes it look a little bit more extreme. The fact is, the right to keep and bear arms, like the right to vote, is protected under the Constitution. We lose nothing by linking the two and gain much.
First of all, it would place anti-Second Amendment extremists on the defensive. This is always a good thing, especially when we can again measure the high ground. In this case, their defensive movement could alienate younger voters, a demographic that may already be shifting away from supporting restrictions on our Second Amendment rights.
Second, it illustrates their hypocrisy. Put it this way, for all that many anti-Second Amendment extremists cry about “voter suppression,” the same hoops are celebrated – in fact, derided as not enough – when it comes to the Second Amendment. If a photo ID is not an insurmountable hurdle for exercising your Second Amendment rights, then is it insurmountable for voting?
Second Amendment supporters should contact their Representative and Senators to urge passage of S 1373 and HR 2890. They also should encourage their state lawmakers to pass similar legislation at the state level. In addition, they need to support the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action and Political Victory Fund to ensure that the current anti-Second Amendment regimes in the House, Senate, and White House and at the state level are defeated at the ballot box as soon as possible.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.