NANTICOKE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — This week, a federal appeals court ruled that prohibitions on selling handguns to Americans between the ages of 18 and 20 violates the second amendment. The community is now giving their thoughts to the controversial decision.
As it stands, people from the ages of 18 to 20 can buy a long gun and once they turn 21 they can buy a hand gun. The question remain, is that constitutional?
“You put the magazine in and pull it back,” said Edward Piestrak, co-owner of Piestrak’s Gun Shop. “People who are 20 years old come in and say, ‘I want that gun.’ So they put it on layaway and they’re paying on it on a regular basis and on their birthday, they come in and legally buy it.”
He legally isn’t allowed to sell anyone under 21 a handgun.
“When we get a person’s driver’s license, we call state police. They know immediately that that person is under 21. It always goes to an operator, and they ask if it’s a long gun and we say yes.”
Piestrak says the law never made much sense to him. He was issued a gun at age 18 when he was in the service.
“Oh, when I went into the service, 17, just turned 18, they issued me a 45, so I wore a 45 on the job, never had any training on it,” Piestrak exclaims. “So then you wonder why when you’re out of the service, at 18 you’re usually pretty responsible to handle a gun.”
Others disagree saying the decision to allow 18 to 20-year-olds to buy handguns would be illogical.
“There’s a huge risk by giving that easy access by giving easy access for suicide and other dangers, so this limitation will save youth’s lives and that should be the primary goal,” said Adam Garber, executive director at Cease Fire PA.
If the decision stands, it would mean 18 to 20-year-olds would be able to buy a handgun from a licensed dealer, but not cigarettes or alcohol.