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Appeals Court Upholds Ban on Gun Sales to Those Under 21

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(NEW ORLEANS) -- The National Rifle Association has to make a decision whether it will go to the U.S. Supreme Court to appeal Thursday's federal appellate court's unanimous ruling that people under 21 don't necessarily have the right to buy guns.

The NRA and three Texas residents who were not 21 when the case first went to a lower court argued that the Second Amendment guarantees the rights of all Americans to purchase and own firearms.

However, the three-member Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans backed up a lower court decision that gun sales can be regulated to specific groups based on 1968's Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act passed by Congress.

Writing for the court, Judge Edward Prado said, "the present ban is consistent with a longstanding tradition of targeting select groups’ ability to access and to use arms for the sake of public safety."

Prado and Judge Catharina Haynes are conservative judges who were appointed by former President George W. Bush.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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