Chalk up yet another legal victory for gun rights advocates: On Monday, the government of Tennessee officially admitted its attempt to outlaw the carry of guns by adults under 21 is unconstitutional, The Reload was first to report.
Lawyers for the state signed onto an "agreed order," which is a written agreement among parties to a lawsuit that becomes an order of the court upon the judge's approval. In part, Monday's agreed order reads:
“The Challenged Scheme regulating the possession and carrying of handguns that restricts individuals aged 18 years old to 20 years old from carrying handguns or obtaining permits to carry handguns on the basis of age alone violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
“Defendant and his officers, agents, employees, and all others acting under his direction and control, are permanently enjoined from implementing or enforcing the Challenged Scheme.”
The state now faces a 90-day deadline to begin processing enhanced carry permit applications submitted by Tennesseans under 21. The state will also have to shell out almost $47,250 to cover legal the plaintiffs' legal costs.
In 2021, Tennessee ended the requirement for most adults to have a permit to carry a handgun. However, it does issue what is not called an "enhanced handgun carry permit."
The victory marks the end of nearly two years of litigation by the Firearms Policy Coalition and two Tennessee plaintiffs, Caleb Bassett, Blake Beeler and Logan Ogle, who were under 21 when the complaint was filed. Last month, Texas surrendered on its own attempt to ban the carrying of guns by adults under 21: A federal judge found it unconstitutional in August and, in December, Texas withdrew its appeal of that ruling.
Other types of gun control are being shot down left and right. Just last week, an Illinois judge issued a temporary restraining order barring the state from enforcing the "assault weapon" and "high-capacity" magazine ban that was hastily enacted on Jan 10. That law also faces a challenge in federal court.
The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) has been involved in many high-profile gun-control challenges, from last summer's pivotal Supreme Court ruling in NYSRPA v Bruen to the ongoing fight against Oregon's sweeping gun control law and Delaware's "assault weapon" ban. An activity-tracker on the group's website shows FPC is currently at work on more than 70 cases all across the country...so the liberty-minded should ready for more good-news headlines in coming weeks and months.