On Wednesday, February 11, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the federal interstate handgun sales ban is unconstitutional.
The ban was implemented after Congress passed Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), which was signed into law by President Johnson in the fall of 1968. The interstate sales ban bars a law-abiding resident in one state from buying a handgun from a retail gun store in another, but allows interstate shotgun, rifle, and tactical rifle sales to continue.
The ruling was the result of Fredric Russell Mance, Jr. et al. v. Eric H. Holder, Jr. and B. Todd Jones, which was backed by theCitizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA).
Judge O’Connor found that the ban violated the second and fifth amendments to the U.S. Constitution. He also distinguished the ban from other firearms restrictions such as those that target specific people, such as felons or the mentally ill.
“While we expect the government to appeal, we are confident that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will agree with Judge O’Connor’s sound ruling,” said attorney William Mateja, who represented the challengers.