Gun rights groups claim age discrimination in lawsuit against purchase ban

SAN DIEGO — A coalition of gun rights groups filed a lawsuit Monday against California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, alleging in court filings that the state’s ban on firearm purchases for people between the ages of 18 and 21 is discriminatory.

The suit, filed in San Diego federal court on behalf of Matthew Jones, Thomas Furrh and several firearm-advocacy organizations, alleges that the state’s ban represents age discrimination and infringes on the rights of law-abiding young adults.

“Once individuals turn 18, they are adults in the eyes of the law. Law-abiding adults are entitled to fully exercise all of their fundamental rights, including their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for all lawful purposes, not just hunting or sport,” the plaintiffs’ attorney John W. Dillon said. “The individuals involved in this case are adults, who are not otherwise prohibited from purchasing firearms, and who want to exercise their right to purchase firearms. The state’s actions and policies to deny them their fundamental rights are unconstitutional and wrong.”

The plaintiffs are seeking a finding that the law is unconstitutional and hope a judge will order that it cannot be enforced. Among the gun supporters named as plaintiffs in the suit are the Calguns Foundation, the Firearm Policy Coalition and the Second Amendment Foundation.

“The Second Amendment is not a second-class right and adults over the age of 18 but under 21 are not second-class people,” Firearm Policy Coalition President Brandon Combs said.

“This case seeks to restore the Second Amendment human rights of legal adults who are being prevented from exercising them because of unconstitutional laws, policies, practices, customs that the state of California defendants are known to enforce.”

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