The Law: California, well known for legislating “We will protect you for your own good-and you ought to thank us” has had a law banning sale of semi-automatic rifles to young citizens aged 18-20 years old. Most other states allow these young adults access to long guns at those younger ages (the same age they would be issued rifles in the military) and only withhold access to pistols until they attain the age of 21.
The Appellate Case: Several pro-gun foundations including SAF, Federal Policy Coalition Inc, Firearms Policy Foundation, Calguns Foundation, Poway Weapons and Gear and some private citizens challenged the case in court and appealed a district court level finding to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Court: Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals: The largest U.S. Appellate territory, seated in San Francisco and covering fed districts in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Also, Guam, Marina Islands and sometimes Samoa. The Ninth is home to a rich history of liberal decisions which have ultimately been overturned. According to Wikipedia, more decisions out of the 9th have been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court than any other circuit. From 2010 to 2015 the Supremes reversed 79% of the opinions they reviewed from the 9th. What if your boss said you were wrong 79% of the time? A pro-gun decision is a new phenomenon in that venue.
The Finding: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the California prohibition on sales of semi-automatic rifles to young adults aged 18-20 years of age and sent the case back down to the federal district court for further proceedings.
Judge Ryan Nelson, a Trump appointee wrote the majority opinion and stated, “The Second Amendment protects the rights of young adults to keep and bear arms, which includes the right to purchase them.” He cited the lower court claim the laws did not burden 2nd Amendment Rights constituted legal error.
A similar prohibition in Washington state has been challenged by SAF and the NRA and this ruling could have an impact on the Washington law as well.