A federal court has thrown out Pennsylvania’s law banning young adults ages 18 to 20 years old from carrying firearms during a declared emergency.

On Jan. 18, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, based in Philadelphia, by a 2-to-1 vote ruled the ban to be unconstitutional under the new standards prescribed by the 2022 Supreme Court ruling in Bruen.

“We understand that a reasonable debate can be had over allowing young adults to be armed, but the issue before us is a narrow one,” U.S. Circuit Court Judge Kent A. Jordan wrote in the majority opinion. “Our question is whether the (state police) commissioner has borne his burden of proving that evidence of founding-era regulations supports Pennsylvania’s restriction on 18-to-20-year-olds’ Second Amendment rights, and the answer to that is no.”

The case was brought by the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) on behalf of plaintiffs aged 18 to 20.

“We applaud the 3rd Circuit’s decision in this case confirming that 18-to-20-year-old adults have the same right to armed self-defense as any other adult,” Cody J. Wisniewski, FPC Action Foundation’s vice president and general counsel, said in a released statement. “If it wasn’t for 18-to-20-year-old adults being empowered to exercise their right to defend themselves, their loved ones and their communities, our nation wouldn’t exist—it would be a deep perversion of the Constitution to prevent them the same right.”

Of course, it is common knowledge that all adults 18 and above were part of the “militia” during the Founding era and not only had the right to bear arms, but were encouraged to do so. But Judge L. Felipe Restrepo, a Joe Biden appointee and the only “no” vote on the panel, must have missed that semester in history class.

“A review of historical sources reveals that the Second Amendment’s plain text does not cover Appellants’ conduct because it would have been understood during the Founding era that Appellants are not ‘part of ‘the people’ whom the Second Amendment protects.’” Judge Restrepo wrote in his dissent. “Further, the challenged statutory scheme here is ‘consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition.’ Because Pennsylvania’s statutory scheme does not violate the Second Amendment of the Constitution, I respectfully dissent.”

Unjust laws targeting young adults, who in many states have all of their rights recognized except their Second Amendment right, have been taking a beating in court of late. Just last December in the case Brown v. ATF, Judge Thomas S. Klesh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia declared that state’s law banning handgun sales to 18- to 20-year-olds to be unconstitutional and granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment.

“The core issue the Court must answer under Bruen remains whether our nation’s history and tradition contains ‘analogous’ restrictions on the ability of 18- to 20-year-olds to purchase firearms,” Judge Klesh wrote in the ruling. “Defendants have not presented any evidence of age-based restrictions on the purchase or sale of firearms from before or at the Founding or during the Early Republic. Defendants have likewise failed to offer evidence of similar regulation between then and 1791 or in a relevant timeframe thereafter. For that reason alone, Defendants have failed to meet the burden imposed by Bruen.”

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