Texas 18-Year-Olds Still Can't Carry Guns, Despite the NRA's Best Efforts

Categories: Legal Battles

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It's hard to tell sometimes, but Texas does in fact have gun restrictions. Handguns, for instance, are barred from sporting events, courtrooms, polling places, racetracks and schools, particularly when gunowners are drunk. They still can't be carried out in the open or onto college campuses, despite some lawmakers' best efforts. To get a concealed handgun license, applicants have to undergo 10 hours of training, possess a modicum of sanity, and be at least 21.

It's that last part that gets Andrew Payne, Brennan Harmon and Rebekah Jennings. They, with a big assist from their allies at the NRA, teamed up in 2011 to sue the state of Texas, arguing that banning otherwise competent 18-to-20-year-old adults from carrying handguns in public is a violation of their Second Amendment rights.

Each of the plaintiffs said they want the guns for safety. Jennings, who seems to be a crack shot, wanted protection while attending art shows in downtown San Antonio. Harmon sometimes met friends on the mean streets of downtown Dallas. Payne felt vulnerable when he visited a Walmart in his hometown of Lubbock.

A federal judge rejected their argument, ruling that "the Second Amendment does not confer a right that extends beyond the home." The state of Texas, on the other hand, has every right to bar certain groups of people from carrying handguns.

The appeal filed by Payne, Harmon, Jennings, and the NRA went no better. In a decision issued Monday, a three-judge panel with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld the lower court's ruling.

The panel explained that Texas' restrictions violate no one's constitutional rights. "[T]he restriction here has only a temporary effect," they write. "And, because it restricts only the ability to carry handguns in public, it does not prevent those under 21 from using guns in defense of hearth and home. Finally, it is not a complete ban on handgun use; it bans such use only outside a home or vehicle."

The judges take particular relish in describing why lawmakers would have a legitimate interest in keeping firearms out of the hands of young adults. They conclude: "[P]ersons under 21 tend to be irresponsible and emotionally immature, and can be thrill-bent and prone to criminal behavior."


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53 comments
ebailey75057
ebailey75057

At 18 years of age the United States government feels you are mature enough for the following:

You can vote, sign a legally binding contract, get a credit card, acquire a Commercial Drivers License, purchase tobacco products, buy a lottery ticket, curfews no longer apply, married without concent. Sign up for the military, be trained on weapons of all types, from small arms to weapons of mass destruction including chemical and biological (don't be niave the US has them as well).  The US government doesn't seem to have an issue sending these same 18 year olds deemed "irresponible and emmotionally immature" by this judge into harm's way and having them come back in body bags.   So they are good enough to be used as cannon fodder for our government, just not mature enough to have a beer and carry a concealed handgun.  What BS is this!       

red.marcy.rand
red.marcy.rand

MADD is aptly named. They are mad statists. DUI laws should be abolished, a legacy of prohibition. The only crime is misuse of the automobile whether drunk or sober. Drinking per se should not be a crime.

red.marcy.rand
red.marcy.rand

Some really stupid statist comments here. Yes, lower drinking age to 18 and abolish draft registration. 

Yes, guns in private hands are better than guns in hands of military killers.

petenelson277
petenelson277

So, we let the 18 year old go into the military, we let them drive. Do we allow them to carry firearms, and lower the drinkng age to 18 while we are at it?

melinda_cook68
melinda_cook68

 "[P]ersons under 21 tend to be irresponsible and emotionally immature, and can be thrill-bent and prone to criminal behavior."                                                                                                                                                     Yet it's ok for them to fight and die for their country?? 

red.marcy.rand
red.marcy.rand

Stupid decision. If you can go in the Army at 18, you should be able to carry firearms in non-military life. 

But Texas is way better than California in regard to guns.

tomrkba
tomrkba

After all, we only have the rights our rulers grant us, at the time they decide is appropriate for us, rather than the rights acknowledged by the state and Federal constitutions.  Odd how there are no age limitations listed there.

itchyjack
itchyjack

If Texas minors want to carry guns, they've still got to do it the old fashioned way - drop out of school, get a GED and join the Armed Forces.  Or have a judge tell them, 'the Army or jail'.

rogue.fromck
rogue.fromck

If your 18 and active duty military your allowed to get your CHL in Texas. My little cousin has his. I personally do not believe the requirements are tough enough. I went through the class and shot my target with only 2 hours of sleep and passed with flying colors. Of course i learned more during 9 years in the Marines than they could ever teach me in that class. Its a pretty basic course. My mom passed and she can barely shoot and i would never trust her judgment in a life or death situation. Then you get these kids who think they are rambo with pistols thinking they are there to serve and protect. First rule of a CHL is its to save you and your families asses and not meant yo save those around you. If your ok with saving their ass and paying the legal fees than so be it. Kids dont think that way. They will shoot first and ask questions later. Then wonder why they are still sitting in a court room.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

A federal judge rejected their argument, ruling that "the Second Amendment does not confer a right that extends beyond the home."

That judge needs to go and give DC v Heller and McDonald v Chicago another look. Heller found that the Second Amendment applied to at the least the home, and that prohibitions were only allowable at specific sensitive places, like schools.  That was incorporated in McDonald.  

Having a gun in your home is the "keep" part.  Carrying it outside your home is the "bear" part.  The 2nd guarantees both.

russp
russp

I wish this country would pick one age for legal responsibility and then apply it to everything; driving, drinking, signing contracts, etc. The current set up is nuts. The most dangerous thing most people ever do in their lives is drive a car, endangering themselves and every one around them yet we let 16 year old kids who are not legally responsible to do anything else drive. Then we tell that same kid he's not mature enough to buy cigarettes or sign his own contract for a small car loan.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

If an 18 year old can sign up for the military and be sent off to war, why can't an 18 year old own a gun?

doclawson12
doclawson12

Texas' reputation as a gun state has more to do with the culture than the laws in the state. Texas' gun laws are really as strict or more than most states (NY, IL and CA notwithstanding). Texas is one of only 7 states to disallow open carry in any circumstance even with a license. In Texas, you may not carry a handgun and drink at all -- the legal limit is 0.0. The CHL training is pretty standard but Texas won't offer reciprocity to license holders from states with weaker requirements (e.g., Ohio).

<sarcasm> As a college professor, I sure am glad I can't carry in campus buildings (I can on campus outside however), because ya know, nothing bad ever happens on a college campus. </sarcasm>

petenelson277
petenelson277

Ok, I get your game, now. Trolling....

That explains it...

petenelson277
petenelson277

So with all of the tragedy of young people dying behind the wheel of automobiles, you think we should lower the drinking age, thus increasing the death toll. As more of them will be drinkng and driving.

Suggestion, .l.ltake your argument to the next meeting of MADD.

Run you idea past them...

petenelson277
petenelson277

No it is not alright. Move the draft registration age to 21.

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@itchyjack You generally have to have a high school diploma, score well on the ASFAB and have a clean record to join any branch of the military these days.  While theoretically you can get in some positions with a GED it is very difficult. 

kduble
kduble

@rogue.fromck Being military doesn't mean a person isn't a threat to civilians. Several murderous veterans immediately come to mind: Lee Harvey Oswald, UT tower mass shooter Charles Joseph Whitman, Timothy McVey, Nidal Hasan....

russp
russp

@everlastingphelps 

Now now, federal judges can't be expected to keep up with all those cumbersome supreme court rulings.


kduble
kduble

@ScottsMerkin  A better question might be whether we should shift the selective service age to 25 based on neuroscience research showing the human brain is rapidly advancing and isn't fully mature until then. Look at the atrocities committed by U.S. troops. These nearly always involve persons under age 25.

A-nony-mouse
A-nony-mouse

An 18 year old can own a gun. They can purchase and own any number of rifles or shotguns they want. It's just purchasing and being the owner of record of pistols that is restricted to those 21 and over.

darren.dupre
darren.dupre

@doclawson12 You can open-carry long rifles in Texas. The Black Panthers have done this on a few occasions in Texas (at least a couple of times in Houston that I can recall).

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@doclawson12 TX does offer reciprocity to CCL holders from states with lesser requirements.  Both VA and FL offer non-resident CCL to TX residents.  The VA and FL training and requirements are minimal.

hilllbillle
hilllbillle

damyankees who voted their own gun rights away are free to live in damyankeeland and enjoy their 'gun free' society. there are also other countries to live in that outlaw guns. if a person can serve in our military, train and become expert with advanced military weaponry, pay the ultimate price for their country, then come home and be told "kid you ain't old enough to drink beer or tote a gun" i would call that one of the sorriest forms of commie crap.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz most stupid fucking comment ever.  There are far more logical and sane gun owners than the nuts who want them banned i.e. you! smooches

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@kduble @everlastingphelps The well-organized militia is a benefit of the right to bear arms not a requirement.  Rights are pesky and so unfortunately the powers that be tend to seize on any excuse to limit them

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@kduble@everlastingphelpsNo, I didn't.  The SCOTUS said that all your "well-organized militia" bullshit distractions were just that, bullshit and distractions.

(a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms.

That's in HOLDING 1 of the Heller decision.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@A-nony-mouse ok point still stands, just edit my last sentence to say, why can't an 18 year old legally carry a concealed handgun

kduble
kduble

@hilllbillle  I don't even think persons under 25 should carry weapons in the Army. Advances in neuroscience now show us the brain is still maturing when we're in our 20s. Look at atrocities committed by our troops. These nearly always involve soldiers under age 25.

Tolldya
Tolldya

@ScottsMerkin @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz I'm trying to figure out if the logical and sane ones are the ones shooting off their nuts or leaving them around for kids to stick in their mouths. I've had enough of that sanity.

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@observist @everlastingphelps @ScottsMerkin My youngest son made E-5 one month before his 20th birthday.  He graduated high school before his 18th birthday and we signed for him to join at 17.   He had two bumps before he completed basic.  One he got for completing some training before he shipped out to basic and another he got for get several of his friends to join and they successfully completed basic.  He made E-4 while he was 18, so it can be done. 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

And gun control always comes back to racism. You went straight to "ghetto" because gun controllers want to disarm black people. It started that way with "Saturday night special" laws and never changed.

observist
observist topcommenter

@everlastingphelps @observist @ScottsMerkin  And you don't know what "probability" means".  

Going back to the original point, even that minority of 19-year-old Sgts have adult supervision.  Giving an 18-year-old a gun in the context of the total institution of the Army is very different than giving an unsupervised 18-year old a gun in a ghetto, trailer park, shopping mall, etc. 

kduble
kduble

@WhiteWhale @kduble @hilllbillle That's the problem. My argument is that, based on modern neuroscience, it's time to raise the minimum age to 25 for combat enlistment.

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@kduble @hilllbillle Are you going to do it for them?  Most of the privates and specialists who are ass in the grass are younger than 25.

hilllbillle
hilllbillle

an unarmed soldier?  i don't think that would work. would you go into a combat zone unarmed?

hilllbillle
hilllbillle

my definition of a commie is the assholes who are always making up, enforcing bullshit rules that rob us of our rights. that means people who want to steal our guns, alcohol/marijuana prohibitionists, religios freaks(christian and muslim),control freaks of every stripe trying to run/ruin someone else's life.

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