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Judge overturns Texas law banning 18- to 20-year-olds from carrying handguns in public

The ruling comes after a Supreme Court decision in June that meaningfully expanded gun rights

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A federal judge has overturned a Texas law that banned 18- to 20-year-olds from carrying handguns in public, saying it’s a violation of the Second Amendment.

Expanding gun rights: Following a June Supreme Court decision that expanded rights to carry firearms outside the home, District Court Judge Mark Pittman — who was appointed by former President Donald Trump — said the Texas law is unconstitutional, because it prohibits “law-abiding 18-to-20-year-olds” from exercising their Second Amendment rights, according to CNN.

The Supreme Court’s decision in June granted the right to carry weapons in public for self-defense for the first time, according to The Guardian. It also directed judges to use a “history-only” test when hearing cases, meaning regulations of firearms are only legal if they are similar to laws in place at the time the Second Amendment was ratified.

What’s next? Pittman’s ruling is the latest change to make firearms more accessible in Texas, although the judge ordered his ruling to be stayed for 30 days to give time for an appeal, according to The New York Times.

What they said: Activists on both sides of the issue reacted swiftly. Here’s what they said:

  • Cody Wisniewski, a senior attorney for the Firearms Policy Coalition, the organization that brought the lawsuit: “This decision is a significant victory for the rights of young adults in Texas and demonstrates for the rest of the nation that similar bans cannot withstand constitutional challenges grounded in history.”
  • Shannon Watts, founder of the gun-control organization Moms Demand Action, according to Axios: “After hearing Uvalde survivors demanding common-sense gun safety measures — including raising the age to buy an assault weapon — a Trump-appointed judge in Texas just issued a dangerous ruling that would allow teenagers to carry handguns in public.”