A federal judge struck down a Minnesota law on Friday that prohibits adults between 18- to 20-years-old from obtaining permits to carry handguns in public.
Three people who were under 21 challenged a 2003 state law that enacted an age requirement to apply for a permit to carry a pistol. The young adults, who were assisted by gun-rights advocacy groups, argued that the law unconstitutionally prohibited them from exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms, Fox News Digital reported.
U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Menendez agreed in her 50-page ruling, heavily relying on the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen. Hence, the federal jurist concluded that Minnesota’s law was unconstitutional and blocked the state from enforcing it.
“Based on a careful review of the record, the court finds that defendants have failed to identify analogous regulations that show a historical tradition in America of depriving 18- to 20-year-olds the right to publicly carry a handgun for self-defense,” Menendez wrote. “As a result, the age requirement prohibiting persons between the ages of 18 and 20 from obtaining such a permit to carry violates the Second Amendment.”
The judge said her ruling was supported by the Supreme Court since they established a new legal test in Bruen to evaluate laws governing firearm possession.
In Bruen, the nation’s highest court ruled that government must demonstrate that a firearm regulation “is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation” for it to pass constitutional scrutiny.
The Supreme Court’s ruling, Menendez noted, is that courts are not permitted to weigh the state’s policy concerns nor consider “the wisdom behind enacting a 21-year-old requirement for publicly carrying a handgun.”
“Given the relative dearth of firearms regulation from the most relevant period where that lens is aimed, the endeavor of applying Bruen seems likely to lead, generally, to more guns in the hands of more people, not just young adults,” Menendez declared.
“Some Minnesotans are surely fine with that result,” the judge continued. “Others may wonder what public safety measures are left to be achieved through the political process where guns are concerned. But Bruen makes it clear that today’s policy considerations play no role in an analytical framework that begins and ends more than 200 years ago.”
As expected, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed an emergency motion for a stay so that the state can file an appeal of the court’s decision, Fox reported.
As a result, Ellison’s filing opens the door for Minnesota to appeal the district court’s decision all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.