Judge strikes down ban on adults below 21 carrying handguns

Judge strikes down ban on adults below 21 carrying handguns

Isabel Webb Carey
Isabel Webb Carey
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August 26, 2022

A federal judge in Fort Worth struck down a Texas law that prohibits 18- to 20-year-olds from carrying handguns on the grounds that the restriction violated the Second Amendment.

In Texas, 18- to 20-year-olds are generally prohibited from obtaining a license to carry a handgun, though last year loosened the restriction to allow for exceptions in the case of certain  under certain protective orders and military or veteran status

Two adult plaintiffs under 21 and the Firearms Policy Coalition Inc., a gun-rights advocacy nonprofit, challenged the constitutionality of the statute. The lawsuit argued that “18- to 20-year-old adults were fully protected by the Second Amendment at the time of its ratification.”

 U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman, who cited the Second Amendment in his decision, stayed the ruling pending appeal so the order will not go into immediate effect.

“Based on the Second Amendment’s text, as informed by Founding-Era history and tradition, the Court concludes that the Second Amendment protects against this prohibition,” Pittman wrote in the ruling.

Despite repeated mass shootings, including in Uvalde, where an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in May, Texas gun laws have grown less restrictive in recent years. Last year, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law that ended the requirement for Texans to obtain a license to carry a handgun.

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Isabel Webb Carey

Isabel Webb Carey

Isabel Webb Carey attends the University of Texas at Austin in the Plan II Honors Program with a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. Her interests include education, local governance, sustainability, and equity. Isabel enjoys dancing, hiking, and live music. She is also a staff writer for the Texas Orator. Email her at isabelwebbcarey@gmail.com
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