GunsJudicialLawsuit Aims to Expand Handgun Carry in Texas to 18 to 20 Year Olds

A new lawsuit in federal court seeks to expand who can carry handguns in Texas to include 18 to 20 year olds.
November 12, 2021
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A new lawsuit from the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) seeks to challenge Texas law prohibiting most individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 from carrying a handgun in public, even if they are lawfully able to possess such a weapon.

Legislation commonly referred to as “constitutional carry,” which passed the state legislature earlier this year and became effective in September, removes the previous requirement for individuals to obtain a License to Carry (LTC) in order to carry a handgun in public under most circumstances.

However, the constitutional carry bill did not depart from state code insofar as individuals must be 21 years of age or older in order to permissibly carry a handgun in public.

Only a few narrow exceptions allow individuals who are 18 to 20 years old to qualify for an LTC, such as if they are a member of the military or under a protective court order.

“While we were glad to see Texas enact constitutional carry for adults over 21 years of age, that bill left us the important task of seeking judicial relief for adults under 21,” said FPC’s senior director of legal operations, Adam Kraut, in a press release. “We look forward to vindicating the rights of our members and all young adults who reside in Texas.”

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Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Andrews v. McCraw asks the court to declare the ban on 18 to 20 year olds from carrying in Texas as a violation of the Second and Fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution and enjoin the state from enforcing it.

The lawsuit acknowledges, however, that it is not only asking the court to weigh in against state law but also against judicial precedent.

In 2013, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the carry ban on that age group in a similar lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The new complaint from the FPC argues that the plaintiffs in the case — which includes two North Texas residents in that age range — believe the NRA case “was wrongly decided.”

“They therefore institute this litigation to vindicate their Second Amendment rights and seek to have McCraw overruled by a court competent to do so,” states the lawsuit.

According to the FPC’s press release, the aim of the lawsuit is to have the previous case overruled by the Fifth Circuit.

“This lawsuit is part of our nationwide strategic litigation program designed to restore the Second Amendment and ensure that all non-violent individuals are able to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms,” said Kraut.

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Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.