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18-year-old in foster care wants to own gun, but state won't let him

An 18-year-old in foster care is fighting for his right to own a firearm after the state denied his Second Amendment right to bear arms.
An 18-year-old in foster care is fighting for his right to own a firearm after the state denied his Second Amendment right to bear arms.
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OGDEN — An 18-year-old in foster care is fighting for his right to own a firearm after the state denied his Second Amendment right to bear arms.

James Edwards appeared in juvenile court Monday to argue a motion to allow him to own a gun. Edwards is still considered a juvenile and will be under the guardianship of the state until he's 21, unless he emancipates himself from the foster system, the Standard Examiner reported.

The Utah Division of Child and Family Services refused to allow Edwards to own a firearm. There are limits to all constitutional rights, said attorney Nathan Roman.

Roman is representing the agency and state. He said if Edwards were living with his birth parents, they, too, could deny him a gun.

Edwards' attorney, Adam Hensley, says the state is claiming authority over Edwards under Utah's "best interest of the child" standard. But Hensley argued that the standard does not supersede his clients' constitutional right to own a gun.

"It never can be in the best interest of a child to keep him from exercising his fundamental right," Hensley said.

Judge Sharon Sipes took the case under advisement.