Texas judge overturns state ban on young adults carrying guns | US news


A federal judge in Texas has lifted the state’s 18- to 20-year-old handgun ban in what appears to be the first major court decision since a landmark gun rights ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in June.

The challenge of the Texas statute that prohibits young adults not on active military duty from having handguns in public was filed in 2021 by the Firearms Policy Coalition, a gun owners’ rights group. The group said the ban violates the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which allows states to organize militias and that “the right of the people to have and bear weapons must not be violated.”

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for the first time that the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual right to bear arms in public for self-defense. The decision also ordered the federal judiciary to apply a “history only” test when considering challenges related to gun regulations, saying a regulation was constitutional only if it was comparable to the one in the 18th century when the second amendment was ratified.

Judge Mark Pittman of the US District Court in Fort Worth ruled Thursday that there was no historic tradition to ban young adults from carrying guns in public in an advisory that repeatedly cited the new Supreme Court ruling.

The judge suspended his ruling for 30 days to allow Texas to appeal.

When he found the ban unconstitutional, Pittman wrote that “the undisputed historical evidence shows that 18- to 20-year-olds were considered part of the founding-era militia”.

Attorneys from the Texas Attorney General’s office had argued in vain that there was a historical basis for determining who was allowed to carry guns based on age.

The age restriction only applied to carrying pistols; long guns can be bought in Texas once someone turns 18, as was the case with the 18-year-old gunman who used a semiautomatic rifle to attack a school in Uvalde, Texas, in May, killing 19 children and two teachers.

There was no immediate comment from the office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott or the State Attorney General Ken Paxton, both Republicans.

Last year, Abbott signed a law that meant that Texans over the age of 21 no longer had to obtain a license, background check or training to carry a gun.

Democratic leaders in the US have rejected the Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen because it makes it much more difficult to regulate guns in a country where mass shootings are returning.

The Firearms Policy Coalition said it is challenging similar restrictions on young adults who carry guns in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Illinois, Minnesota, California and Georgia.

Cody Wisniewski, a senior attorney for the group, said in a statement, “This decision is a major victory for young adult rights in Texas and demonstrates to the rest of the nation that similar bans cannot withstand constitutional challenges rooted in are in history.”

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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