Three young Pennsylvania gun owners have filed suit in federal court in Pittsburgh, alleging that the state’s requirement that only those over the age of 21 can obtain a concealed carry license violates their Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The suit, brought in conjunction with the Second Amendment Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition, is one of several recent court challenges to laws subjecting those between the ages of 18 and 21 to various restrictions.
“We’ve filed this action because the situation in Pennsylvania smacks of discrimination against young adults in the 18- to 20-year age group,” said SAF founder and executive vice president Alan M. Gottlieb.
“Young adults can join the military, where they might be assigned to carry firearms all over the world. They can get married, start businesses, enter into contracts and yet they are not considered mature enough to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. That’s nonsense,” he said.
State police Commissioner Col. Robert Evanchick is the sole defendant in the case, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit argues that Pennsylvania state law — which prohibits the carrying of firearms on public streets or property during an emergency declared by a state or municipal executive — is in violation of the Second and Fourteenth amendments.
Pennsylvania allows for open carry (with the exception of Philadelphia), but not during a state of emergency. When an emergency is declared, as the lawsuit argues, only those who possess a valid license to carry can legally bear arms. I was surprised to learn that the state has actually been operating under a declared emergency for two years, which in and of itself seems actionable.