Ninth Circuit Panel Strikes California Semiauto Rifle Ban for 18-20 Year-Olds

A customer looks at a custom made AR-15 style rifle at Davidson Defense in Orem, Utah on February 4, 2021. - Gun merchants sold more than 2 million firearms in January, a 75% increase over the estimated 1.2 million guns sold in January 2020, according to the National Shooting Sports …
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A three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck down California’s ban on semiautomatic rifle sales to 18-20 year-olds on Wednesday.

The suit against the law was brought by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and joined by the Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc., Firearms Policy Foundation, Calguns Foundation, Poway Weapons and Gear and PWG Range, North County Shooting Center, Inc., Beebe Family Arms and Munitions, and Matthew Jones, as well as two other private citizens.

The panel’s majority opinion was written by Judge Ryan Nelson and joined by Judge Kenneth Lee, both of whom were appointed by former President Donald Trump.

Nelson wrote:

(T)he Second Amendment protects the right of young adults to keep and bear arms, which includes the right to purchase them. The district court reasoned otherwise and held that the laws did not burden Second Amendment rights at all: that was legal error…(T)he district court erred by applying intermediate scrutiny, rather than strict scrutiny, to the semiautomatic centerfire rifle ban. And even under intermediate scrutiny, this ban likely violates the Second Amendment because it fails the ‘reasonable fit’

SAF founder and executive vice president, Alan Gottlieb, responded to the ruling, saying, “We are delighted with the opinion. … The court majority rightly recognized that delaying the exercise of a right until age 21 does irreparable harm. It also applied strict scrutiny to the semi-auto ban.”

The case is Jones vs. Bonta, No. 20-56174 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at You can sign up to get Down Range at


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