United States Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) has introduced legislation to reinstate the right of adults between the ages of 18 and 20 to purchase a handgun from a federally licensed dealer. The Second Amendment Mandates Equality (SAME) Act of 2021, co-sponsored by Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Steve Daines (R-MT), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Braun (R-IN), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Jim Risch (R-ID), and sponsored by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) in the U.S. House of Representatives, would repeal a law that currently prevents adults under 21 from buying a handgun.
“The Second Amendment is a constitutional right, and does not treat 18-year-olds as second-class adults,” Senator Lummis said. “In keeping with the Supreme Court’s Heller decision, the SAME Act would overturn our current restrictive anti-handgun statute and ensure equal treatment under law for adults under 21. Ultimately, if we trust 18-year-olds enough to defend our country and to choose our elected officials, we should trust them enough to purchase a handgun.”
“Why should a 20-year-old single mom be denied the right to defend herself and her children?” asked Representative Massie. “Eighteen, 19, and 20-year-olds are considered adults and can vote on important public policy issues. They can also form business contracts, get married, and serve in the military. As adults, these Americans should not be deprived of basic constitutional rights.”
Her colleagues made the following comments:
Senator Risch: “Arbitrary age restrictions barring law-abiding adults from legally and lawfully purchasing a handgun are unconstitutional and out of line with our country’s foundational beliefs. The SAME Act will reinstall the constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights of 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds and expand access for Americans seeking to purchase firearms legally.”
Senator Daines: “The Constitution is clear and I will always fight for the Second Amendment and Montanans’ right to keep and bear arms.”
Senator Cramer: “The federal government has no business telling 18-20 year-olds they cannot exercise their constitutional rights just because of their age. The SAME Act would allow more law-abiding Americans to defend themselves as they see fit by ending an antiquated federal prohibition preventing young adults from purchasing a handgun.”
Senator Mike Braun: “Eighteen year-olds can carry a gun to defend our country in military service, but cannot buy a handgun from licensed dealers. Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one are adults in the eyes of the law, and their Second Amendment right to defend themselves and their families should not be infringed.”
Senator Hyde-Smith: “The right to keep and bear all firearms is a fundamental right that should not be restricted by the federal government. This legislation would repeal the arbitrary restriction for citizens between 18 and 20 years old from purchasing a handgun. I am pleased to join my colleagues in this effort to protect our constitutional Second Amendment rights.”
The SAME Act is supported by Gun Owners of America and the National Association for Gun Rights.
Gun Owners of America’s Aidan Johnston said of the bill, “Senator Cynthia Lummis’ Second Amendment Mandates Equality Act (SAME Act) is true ‘common-sense’ gun legislation. The current 18–20-year-old handgun ban is antiquated and keeps honest, young adults disarmed – sending the message that the Second Amendment is a second-class right. GOA commends Senator Lummis for standing for the Second Amendment rights of young adults.”
National Association for Gun Rights’ Hunter King said, “The right to keep and bear arms belongs to all law-abiding adults. Denying 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds the ability to purchase a handgun, solely based off of age alone, leaves a pivotal age demographic in our country defenseless and vulnerable. Why are military-aged adults banned from purchasing a handgun? Why should a 20-year-old single mother not be able to purchase and carry a concealed handgun for self-defense? The National Association for Gun Rights stands with Senator Lummis and her efforts to dismantle this unconstitutional restriction.”