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AG Nessel Joins Coalition Supporting Federal Restriction Prohibiting Handgun Sales to Individuals Under 21
May 19, 2023
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joins a coalition of 17 attorneys general filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit supporting the federal government’s prohibition on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition by federally-licensed retailers to individuals under the age of 21.
“Each year, thousands of Michigan residents are the victims of the epidemic of gun violence that is shattering lives and families across this nation," said Nessel. "This prohibition is a common-sense restriction much like those that I have championed in Michigan since my first term. It stands to reason that anyone who is too young to legally purchase alcohol should also be restricted from purchasing a firearm. I gladly join my colleagues in supporting this rule to help protect the public from the harmful effects of gun violence.”
Nessel and the coalition explain that the Second Amendment allows governments to enact sensible and varied regulations to protect the public, including age-based restrictions on the purchase, possession, or use of firearms. Although regulations vary based on each state’s needs, virtually every state has imposed some form of age-based regulations on firearms, and at least 19 states and the District of Columbia have imposed regulations mirroring the federal minimum age requirement of 21 to purchase handguns.
The brief is the most recent step in AG Nessel’s work to address gun violence throughout Michigan and across the nation. AG Nessel has long supported common-sense legislation to strengthen Michigan’s gun laws. She has called for federal regulations on ghost guns, she supports accountability measures for the firearm industry, and she recently testified before the state legislature to support the passage of a package of bills containing new gun safety legislation. One of the bills establishes safe storage requirements to ensure that minors do not have access to firearms. Another bill contains a “red flag” law that allows an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) to be obtained by individuals who are close to someone who owns a gun and believe the gun owner is at risk of harming themselves or others. The ERPO allows law enforcement to temporarily repossess that individual’s weapons.
Joining AG Nessel in filing the amicus brief are the attorneys general of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.