It has been our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for over two centuries now. And yet, for nearly as long, there have been those who say that we shouldn’t have that right. According to them, firearms in the hands of the average person are a serious danger and threat to society. And so, they have sought to put limitations on that right.
For example, in Texas, they have recently tried to limit the age at which a person can legally begin carrying a gun for self-defense to 21. Naturally, this means that those under 21, but still adults, ages 18 to 20, cannot carry.
Some would say that this isn’t fair or constitutional.
And apparently, a federal judge in Texas agrees.
In the Northern District of Texas, District Court Judge Mark Pittman ruled that the law is unconstitutional because neither the Constitution nor the Second Amendment sets an age restriction, according to Insider.
In his opinion and decision, Pittman wrote, “The Second Amendment refers only to ‘the people,’ which various Founding-Era dictionaries define as a reference to those who make up the ‘national community.’”
This means that those who are 18, 19, and 20 also have to be included in “the people,” as they are both part of the national and political community in the United States. After all, at 18, American youth can not only be drafted to serve in our military branches and forced to carry a gun, but they can also vote, adding their voices to choose our national leaders.
Another thing to note is that firstly, the Second Amendment was originally put in place to protect militias. It was militias who came together in the early days of our nation to stand against tyranny and oppression. And our Founding Fathers wanted to ensure that should such domination come against the American people in the future, they would have a way to protect themselves.
Additionally, it is noted that in the time period when the Constitution was written, militia, including that of the 13 original colonies and England’s, were made of minors even as young as 15. This means that those ages 18-20 were most definitely considered part of “the people,” and those who had a right to protect themselves.
In today’s time, that means they have the right to carry a gun in public.
And so, the law banning such was thrown out.
Pro-gun nonprofit organization Firearms Policy Coalition was the one to bring the case to court. According to their Senior Attorney for Constitutional Litigation, Cody J. Wisniewski, “Texas cannot point to a single Founding Era law that prohibited 18- to 20-year-olds from carrying a functional firearm for self-defense, because not only did no such law exist, but those individuals are an important reason why we have a Bill of Rights in the first place.”
This means that those who are legal adults in the US and yet under 21 have just as much of a right to self-defense by firearm as those over 21.
The decision comes just days after the Supreme Court ruled to expand Second Amendment rights drastically. In the state of New York, it has been a law for over a hundred years that those who are applying for a license to carry a gun outside of their homes have to give a valid “reason” for such. But with so many people being denied after giving their reasoning, the New York State Rifle Association stood up to the law and took the matter to court.
Six of the High Court’s justices agreed that the age-old law is unconstitutional. Again, neither the Constitution nor the Second Amendment says anything about people having to prove to the government that they deserve to be able to defend themselves. It is a right, period.
Now, those in New York can apply for a permit to carry without giving a reason. Of course, they can still be denied based on things like criminal history, mental health issues, etc. But the state is no longer allowed to judge them for that application unjustly, just as Texas can no longer deny American adults the right to protect themselves.
It’s a good time to be pro-guns.