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18 year Olds Granted Gun Rights

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  • zaraster

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    Mar 19, 2008
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]Posted - 05/21/2008 : 07:23:14[/FONT] [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]

    18-year-olds granted gun rights
    State Supreme Court rules the age for possession should be lowered
    Youths ages 18 through 20 can possess handguns legally under a state Supreme Court ruling issued Monday.

    The unanimous decision mirrors a new state law that took effect last month.

    The five-member high court said the old law violated the state constitution, which grants full legal rights to everyone who is at least 18 — with the exception of alcohol purchases.

    “By expressly allowing the regulation of the sale of alcoholic beverages to the 18-to-20-year-old age group and not stating any other situation in which the General Assembly may restrict the rights of this age group, the state constitution precludes the General Assembly from prohibiting this age group’s possession of handguns,” Justice James Moore wrote for the court.

    The state Attorney General’s Office, in court papers, supported the old law.

    “Certainly if it is appropriate for the Legislature to stop a 19-year-old from having a Heineken, it is also appropriate under the same power to prohibit that same 19-year-old from having a Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol,” according to a legal brief submitted for the appeal.

    Attorney General Henry McMaster said Monday the court’s ruling “means that those in jail on that charge will be able to ask to be released.” But he added he believes those cases are “far and few between.”

    McMaster said his office will “need to study the decision” before deciding whether to ask the court to reconsider its ruling.

    State Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Laurens, who authored the new law allowing handgun possession by those who are least 18, said Monday that South Carolina was the only southern state to have the higher age limit.

    “I see it as a self-defense issue,” he said.

    He said if his daughter, when she was 19 or 20, was driving his car, which had a gun in the glove compartment, she could have been charged under the old law even though it would have been legal for him.

    Although the new law lowers the age for legal possession, it doesn’t trump federal law banning those younger than 21 from buying handguns, Pitts said.

    Violation of the old state law was a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $2,000 fine. The Attorney General’s office in court papers said there were “valid policy concerns” supporting handgun limitations.

    “Indeed, it is common knowledge that the combination of young people, handguns and gangs creates a particularly toxic mix,” the legal brief said.

    Rock Hill lawyer Leland Greeley, who represented the defendant in Monday’s ruling, said the court’s decision might be used to challenge another state law that bans youths under 21 from obtaining concealed weapons permits.

    The justices in Monday’s ruling upheld a lower court ruling that threw out a York County indictment charging Berry Scott Bolin with possession of a handgun by someone younger than 21.

    Bolin was 19 when he was arrested in connection with the February 2006 shooting death of Bobby Royce Hovis III, 19. Besides the weapons charge, he also was indicted on a charge of murder, though he eventually was convicted of a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

    Reach Brundrett at (803) 771-8484.

    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]5th Generation TEXAN
    12th Generation American (sailed over before 1600)



    TGT Addict
    Rating - 100%
    1   0   0
    May 29, 2017
    Austin, TX
    I feel 21 is a proper age for owning a pistol. Teenagers are far too reactive, and far too inexperienced for the most part.

    I believe that the issue of self-defense could be addressed, ie. allowing pistols to be contained in motor vehicles, or in one's home, but with parental permission and parental co-responsibility and ownership.

    However, it's worth a trial at least. Perhaps empirical results will prove that kids are capable of owning and properly utilizing handguns.

    jim t

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    0   0   0
    Mar 4, 2008
    Hawley Texas
    the age when a person may legally own a gun is arbitriary at best. I know some 18 year olds that are more than capeable of haveing the right to own a hand gun. that being said I also know a lot of 30 year olds that should not have them. I know we cant go on a case by case ruleing, but still..... I find it offenceive to not allow them to have the right when they can go and fight in the wars.

    they can use guns we have a hard time getting here at home but they cant have a pistol? I wont go into the right to drink. and just so you know I do not drink never have, and I am well over 21 ( wish I could even see 21 again in the mirror). :p

    the laws about the misuses of alcahol and guns should be applied to all who have and use them. but the guy who can go and fight for his country should have a right to have a pistol if he wants one. just my two cents worth.
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