A few weeks ago, I wrote about Judge Mark Pittman’s decision (5th Circuit District Court) that would, if upheld, allow 18-20 year olds to carry handguns. I do realize that for some, this is a controversial decision. Having thoroughly reviewed the opinion, I believe from a Constitutional standpoint, I believe Judge Pittman’s ruling is sound.
You may recall his reasoning is that not only did our founding fathers not put a specific age in the Constitution – except for the members of the U.S. Senate and the Presidency – but in many cases that he cited, age was not a factor for other Constitutional rights. For my own part, I argue that if you can vote, fight and possibly die for your country, sign binding contracts and be tried in a court of law at the age of 18, it makes sense. But that’s me.
To update you, the opinion, as you know, was stayed for 30 days or upon appeal. Notice has been provided to the Court that the state intends to appeal the decision.
I’ve been asked if I think the decision will be upheld. Having read the opinion and in light of Bruen, I believe it will. Judge Pittman’s ruling was issued after both sides in the case were given the opportunity to file supplemental briefs after the Bruen decision and his reasoning follows the court’s guidance.
Should this happen, I propose that DPS set up a system to make it cheap and easier for 18-21 year olds to get their LTC’s. Not just a no-fee LTC but a discount on the fingerprints and training required. (The background check is not something that can be discounted by the state).
As I have said, time and time again, I fought like a dog for Permitless Carry but Texas’ LTC program is the better deal, legally speaking. It is an option for Texans now and of course, that’s a good thing.
Setting up a program, should this opinion become the law of the land, would get these young handgun owners not only the training they might need but a thorough understanding of Texas law.
Keep in mind that under the law today, even if the opinion goes through, 18-21 year olds are not permitted to carry under the LTC program or our Permitless Carry system. I offer the thought that setting up a system where they could be taught safely, fingerprinted and background checked, gets ahead of what is SURELY going to be the next lawsuit-that they should be able to carry.
About a third of U.S. states allow legal handgun carry for adults under the age of 21. Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Vermont allow carry for those at least 18 years old and Missouri allows it at 19.
Texas leads the way in so many areas, this should be another cutting-edge solution coming from our great Lone Star state!