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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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Judge Strikes Down Texas Gun Restrictions


Judge with gavel | Image by Shutterstock

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A federal judge struck down a Texan law that prohibited people aged 18 to 20 who were otherwise eligible to own a handgun from carrying it outside their house.

The decision by Judge Mark Pittman read, “Based on the Second Amendment’s text, as informed by Founding-Era history and tradition, the Court concludes that the Second Amendment protects against the prohibition.”

Much of Pittman’s decision relied on the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.

In Bruen, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority decision, arguing that “The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not a second-class right.”

He held that a gun law is unconstitutional when it “prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms.”

Looking at the standard established in Bruen, Pittman asked, “are law-abiding 18-to-20-year-olds properly considered members of the political community and a part of the national community?”

“The answer is yes,” he continued, “And based on that answer, the Court concludes that law-abiding 18-to-20-year-olds are a part of the ‘the people’ referenced in the Second Amendment.”

The lawsuit against the Texas statutory requirement mandating people be at least 21 years old before they can carry a handgun in self-defense was brought by the pro-gun legal advocacy group Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC).

Cody Wisniewski, senior attorney for constitutional litigation at FPC, applauded the court, saying, “This decision is a significant victory for the rights of young adults in Texas … We look forward to restoring the right to keep and bear arms throughout the United States.”

Anti-gun groups, like Moms Demand Action, expressed frustration with the decision.

Founder Shannon Watts said, “This is yet another example of a radical court operating wildly out of step with the American people and the Constitution.”

The State of Texas has 30 days to appeal the decision if it chooses to before the law is officially struck down. Attorney General Ken Paxton has not suggested whether he will pursue the case.

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