Archives for April 2023

Does Federal Ruling in Minnesota Portend Similar Results in Louisiana Case?

A federal judge in Minnesota on Friday struck down a state restriction limiting handgun carry permits to those over age 21, in a case brought by the Second Amendment Foundation, Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, Firearms Policy Coalition and three young adults, Austin Dye, Axel Anderson and Kristin Worth, the latter for whom the case is named. The case is known as Worth v. Harrington. At the core of the case was the Second Amendment guidelines handed down in last year’s Supreme Court Bruen ruling.

In her decision, U.S. District Judge Katherine Menendez wrote, “The Supreme Court’s recent decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen…compels the conclusion that Minnesota’s permitting age restriction is unconstitutional, and Plaintiffs are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”

Later in her 50-page ruling, Judge Menendez observes, “(T)he Court concludes that the text of the Second Amendment includes within the right to keep and bear arms 18-to-20-year-olds, and therefore, the Second Amendment ‘presumptively guarantees [Plaintiffs’] right to ‘bear’ arms in public for self-defense.’”

“Judge Menendez’s ruling is a huge victory for young adults and their right to keep and bear arms,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Furthermore, her decision underscores the importance of last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the Bruen case, which rightfully did away with the so-called ‘balancing test’ that invariably weighed in favor of government interests over individual rights. Judge Menendez has firmly established that young adults are entitled to all the rights protected by the Constitution.”

“Today’s decision confirms what we already knew to be true, that 18-20 year-olds possess the same right to bear arms for self-defense as those over the age of 21,” added SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut. “We are pleased that the court has enjoined the state of Minnesota from infringing on the rights of young adults. SAF will continue to work in the courts to vindicate the rights of all Americans.”

The Louisiana Shooting Association, the SAF, and the Firearms Policy Coalition filed a federal lawsuit on November 6, 2020 challenging federal law that prevents young adults from purchasing and owning handguns.

The suit was filed on behalf of two private citizens, Caleb Reese and Joseph Granich, both in the affected age group. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. The case is known as Reese v. BATF.

“One mission of the Louisiana Shooting Association is to protect Americans’ right to keep and bear arms which necessarily includes their ability to acquire firearms,” said Dan Zelenka, Louisiana Shooting Association’s president. “Handguns are the firearm of choice for self-defense as well as for many types of sport shooting disciplines. Nothing in the Constitution would subject adults under the age of 21 to different rights and protections under the Second Amendment as adults over the age of 21. On behalf of our members who are currently banned under federal law, as well as our younger members who will soon be in that banned age group, the Louisiana Shooting Association is proud to be a part of this effort to stop the federal government from enforcing its unconstitutional ban.”

Although Judge Menendez’s ruling does not bear on the Western District of Louisiana, it demonstrates the importantance of the Bruen decisions on protecting our Civil Rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment, and may portend a positive finding in Reese v. BATF.