Illinois Lawsuit Seeks To Allow Those Under 21 To Carry Guns

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Illinois isn’t a pro-gun state. The only way the laws seem to change for the better there is as the result of a lawsuit. After all, one of the biggest Supreme Court rulings on the Second Amendment came out of Illinois, the McDonald v City of Chicago case. A lawsuit is directly responsible for many people in the state having a concealed carry permit in the first place.


It’s a shame it has to come to that, but Illinois is dominated by Chicago and Chicago seems to think guns are bad. So, any positive change has to be driven by the judicial branch.

Now, a lawsuit seeks to expand who can carry a gun in the first place.

Gun-rights organizations and a handful of young people in Illinois sued to overturn state laws banning people under 21 from carrying firearms in public, arguing that the rules violate the Second Amendment rights of young, but of-age gun owners.

In their challenge of the laws, the Second Amendment Foundation, Illinois State Rifle Association and Firearms Policy Coalition claim allowing only people over 21 to hold licenses to carry guns not only violates their Second Amendment rights but unfairly targets a group less likely to commit violent crimes than their older counterparts.

“The available data show that 18 to 20-year-old adults commit fewer violent crimes than those who are 21 to 24 years old,” attorney Christian Ambler of the Chicago firm Stone & Johnson wrote in the organizations’ complaint, citing 2019 data from the Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention. Ambler said this eliminates any potential argument that the restriction served a legitimate government interest.

“There is simply no constitutionally acceptable justification for Illinois to completely deny a broad class of adults their fundamental, individual right to bear arms,” Coalition senior director of legal operations Adam Kraut said in a statement. “The laws, policies and enforcement practices at issue in this case are nothing less than an unconstitutional ban on carrying arms in public.”


Let’s also be honest, there’s pretty much no other enumerated right we prohibit legal adults from exercising other than with firearms. At 18, we accept that people can enlist in the military without parental permission, can sign contracts, can marry, and can generally do anything their parents can do…except when the subject of guns comes up.

Well, that and drinking, but that’s another topic for another time.

With guns, though, it’s a specifically protected right enumerated in the Bill of Rights, and yet 18- to 20-year-olds aren’t legally able to bear arms in numerous places. The laws specifically require them to be 21, which is discriminatory.

Frankly, the lawsuit needs to overturn this inane policy, but I’d prefer to see a case like this before the Supreme Court so it can overturn these laws across the nation.

These are adults in the eyes of the law. If they’re mature enough to decide the fate of our nation, then they need to be considered mature enough to have the means to defend their own lives in the face of lethal force.


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