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Reese v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives


Defending federal law that prohibits federally-licensed firearms dealers from selling to persons under twenty-one.

Court: Fifth Circuit

Issue at Stake: Age restrictions

Summary: Reese v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives is a Second Amendment challenge to federal regulations that prohibit federally-licensed firearm dealers from selling handguns (or ammunition for a handgun) to individuals under twenty-one.

Everytown filed an amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit arguing that the federal restrictions are constitutional under the approach to Second Amendment cases set out in New York Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen. The brief explains that plaintiffs have not met their burden under Bruen’s textual inquiry to establish that the Second Amendment covers individuals under 21. The brief then argues that, if the court proceeds to the historical inquiry, the analysis in National Rifle Ass’n v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives remains binding and compels upholding the federal restrictions. Finally, if the court conducts the historical inquiry anew, the brief argues that it should center its analysis on 1868 as opposed to 1791 and should consider earlier and later laws. 

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