A gun rights group filed an amended complaint Wednesday in its lawsuit seeking to lower the age requirement of Tennessee’s constitutional carry law to adults age 18 and older.
The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) filed an amended complaint in its Tennessee lawsuit after winning a similar case in Texas last month. FPC sued Tennessee last year after the state passed a law allowing residents age 21 and older to either open or concealed carry a handgun without a permit.
“The State cannot carry its burden of proving the existence of ‘a distinctly similar historical regulation’ that burdened the right to bear arms in the same way and for the same reasons,” FPC’s amended complaint says. “Instead, the relevant historical evidence weighs heavily in favor of upholding the right to carry loaded handguns in public for 18-to-20-year-olds, just the same as for those who are 21 years and older.”
“They are squarely among ‘the people’ for whom the Second Amendment guarantees were created. They were not only allowed to keep and bear arms without any restriction but required to do so during the Founding era that shaped the liberties enshrined in the Amendment,” the complaint says.
On August 25, a federal judge in Texas struck down part of a state law barring adults ages 18 to 20 from carrying a handgun without a permit.
“Based on the Second Amendment’s text, as informed by Founding-Era history and tradition, the Court concludes that the Second Amendment protects against this prohibition,” U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman wrote in the ruling.
FPC Director of Legal Operations Bill Sack cited the Texas ruling in a statement about the updated Tennessee complaint. He said the Tennessee lawsuit gave the court the “opportunity” to apply last year’s Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen appropriately.
“Just two weeks ago in the FPC-led case Andrews v. McCraw, a federal district judge in Texas concluded that the Constitution demands the restoration of the right to bear arms to the young adults of that state,” said FPC Director of Legal Operations Bill Sack. “With today’s filing in Beeler, the Eastern District of Tennessee now has the opportunity to properly apply Bruen and reach the same conclusion.”
In Bruen, the Supreme Court struck down a New York law requiring applicants for a permit to carry a handgun to demonstrate that they have a special need for self-defense in addition to other requirements.