Lawsuit Filed Over Texas Constitutional Carry Law

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

When Texas passed its constitutional carry law, we all kind of expected the lawsuits to start flying. After all, it’s what we do when a law we don’t like gets passed. If we can do it, so can they.

Now, at least one lawsuit has actually been filed…but not by a gun control group.

No, it was filed by the Firearms Policy Coalition, a very pro-gun group. What was their beef with the law? It doesn’t cover all adults.

Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) has filed a new federal Second Amendment lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas seeking to restore the right to carry arms in public for adults under 21 years of age. Defendants in the case include Steven McCraw, Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety. The lawsuit seeks a declaration finding the Texas carry ban as to adults under age 21 unconstitutional, an injunction, and attorney’s fees and costs. The complaint for Andrews v. McCraw can be found at

“Under the 18-to-20-Year-Old Carry Ban that Defendants enforce, Plaintiffs Andrews and Blakey, along with other similarly situated members of Plaintiff [FPC], are categorically prohibited from obtaining a license to carry a handgun and denied the right to carry a handgun for self-defense on their person in public, in direct violation of the Second Amendment, as incorporated against the State by the Fourteenth Amendment,” the complaint says.

In June, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the FPC-supported H.B. 1927 into law, enacting “constitutional carry” (i.e., permitless carry) in the Lone Star state. However, the bill did not extend the Texas statutory right to bear arms to adults under age 21. Through today’s lawsuit, FPC now seeks to ensure that all non-prohibited adults in Texas can exercise their fundamental Second Amendment right to bear arms outside the home.

“This lawsuit is part of our nationwide strategic litigation program designed to restore the Second Amendment and ensure that all non-violent individuals are able to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms,” said Adam Kraut, FPC’s Senior Director of Legal Operations. “While we were glad to see Texas enact constitutional carry for adults over 21 years of age, that bill left us the important task of seeking judicial relief for adults under 21. We look forward to vindicating the rights of our members and all young adults who reside in Texas.”

Now, I’m not sure whether this has a hope in hell of succeeding, but FPC has a valid point.

See, one of the issues we have in this country is that we’re not really sure if people aged 18-20 are really adults. Oh, we say they are, of course. We let them enlist in the military and put their lives on the line for our nation. We allow them to vote, sign contracts, and generally do as they wish without needing parental oversight.

In most ways, we treat them as adults.

However, we also won’t let them purchase handguns, nor can they carry them in most places. Our message is “we’ll trust you with fully-automatic weapons in a warzone, but not once you get back to the United States.” Yeah, that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

Anti-Second Amendment types will claim that people in this age group haven’t fully developed, that their brain is still forming and that the areas still in the works make it dangerous for them to have guns. However, none of these people are advocating for taking driver’s licenses away from this age category, despite car accidents being far more common and deadlier.

That ain’t happening.

So why are we keeping them from carrying guns? I actually agree with the FPC position on this one, and I urge you to do so as well.

Again, though, I don’t know if a judge will agree, but since we don’t deny any other right to legal adults other than Second Amendment rights, this shouldn’t be difficult. Yes, that includes constitutional carry.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in this one.