What Can a Person Legally Do at Age 21?

The most popular legal benefit that comes at age 21 is the ability to drink and buy alcoholic beverages in the United States. Twenty-one is also the legal age to gamble in most casinos, own a handgun, and obtain a concealed firearm license in most states.

The minimum drinking age in the United States is 21 years of age. Some states have considered lowering the drinking age, but it is still the highest minimum drinking age in the world.

In most states, gambling in casinos is restricted until the age of 21, although a majority of those states do allow 18-year-olds to play the lottery and bet on horse racing. Nevada and New Jersey, home to the huge casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, both have a minimum age of 21 for casino gambling.

State law varies when it comes to gun ownership, but no state requires a purchaser to be more than 21 to buy a handgun, shotgun or rifle. Some states allow purchase and possession of firearms at the age of 18, while Vermont only requires a handgun purchaser to be a minimum of 16 years old.

The minimum age for obtaining a concealed weapons permit is 21 in nearly all states. Some states make exceptions for those who have served in the armed forces, allowing a veteran to get a permit if she is at least 18.