Texas withdraws appeal to court order blocking gun law that banned adults under 21 from carrying firearms

The state of Texas has withdrawn its appeal of a district court order that declared a state law preventing adults under 21 from carrying a handgun unconstitutional.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw withdrew the appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals without opposition Tuesday, the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) said. The FPC was a plaintiff in the case, along with two teenage gun owners who had challenged the Texas law. 

‘We applaud Texas for doing the right thing and accepting the district court’s ruling against its law prohibiting 18-to-20-year-old adults from carrying firearms in public,’ said Cody J. Wisniewski, FPC’s senior attorney for constitutional litigation. ‘Not only do young adults have the same constitutionally protected right to bear arms as all other adults, they are also among the reasons we have a Second Amendment, Constitution, and Country in the first place.’

Texas law permits gun-owning adults to obtain a license to carry their weapons in public. However, legal handgun owners under 21 were prevented from obtaining a license. 

In August, a Texas court found that the age barrier was unconstitutional. 

Read the court filing:

U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman ruled that the Second Amendment prevents restricting the rights of gun owners based on their age. 

‘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. ‘Texas’s statutory scheme must therefore be enjoined to the extent that law-abiding 18-to-20-year-olds are prohibited from applying for a license to carry a handgun.’

Two unnamed plaintiffs, an 18-year-old and a 20-year-old, along with the FPC, filed the lawsuit challenging Texas’ law in November. 

Pittman noted the Second Amendment does not contain any mention of age as a restriction, unlike other portions of the Constitution. 

‘To start, the Second Amendment does not mention any sort of age restriction,’ he wrote. ‘This absence is notable—when the Framers meant to impose age restrictions, they did so expressly.’

The firearms Policy Coalition is leading similar lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Illinois, Minnesota, California and Georgia. 

Fox News’ Max Thornberry contributed to this report.

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