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The Epoch Times
The Epoch Times
1 Apr 2023

NextImg:Judge Strikes Down Carry Permit Restriction in Minnesota

A federal judge ruled Friday that Minnesota’s carry permit age restriction is unconstitutional.

“The court declares that Minn. Stat. §624.714, subd. 2(b)(2)’s requirement that a person must be at least 21 years of age to receive a permit to publicly carry a handgun in Minnesota violates the rights of individuals 18–20 years old to keep and bear arms protected by the Second and Fourteenth Amendments,” judge Katherine Menendez from U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota wrote in the ruling.

Minnesota added an age restriction for the carry permit in 2003 to ask applicants to be “at least 21 years old and a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States.”

Three Minnesota residents between the ages of 18 and 20 sued John Harrington, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, and three sheriffs and asked the judge to enjoin the age restriction.

Three gun rights advocacy groups, Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, Second Amendment Foundation, and Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc., joined the lawsuit.

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus declared victory after the ruling.

“This is a resounding victory for 18-20-year-old adults who wish to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms,” Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus Chair Bryan Strawser said in a statement.

The Epoch Times reached out to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s office for comment.

The plaintiffs argued in their lawsuit that the age minimum violated the Second Amendment because 18- to 20-year-olds were permitted to possess guns at the time of the United States’ founding.

Their case was bolstered last June when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for the first time, in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense. The court also found that any limits on gun rights must be in line with the nation’s historical tradition of gun regulation.

Gun instructor Tom Nguyen (L) watches as Kelly Siu fires a pistol during a Defensive Pistol Class at Burro Canyon Shooting Park in Azusa, Calif., on Feb. 12, 2023. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

Menendez wrote that she had “reservations” about the historical analysis demanded by the Supreme Court, noting that “judges are not historians.”

Nonetheless, she concluded that there were no historical laws comparable to Minnesota’s, and Bruen required her to strike the law down.

She noted that the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a 21-year age minimum for handgun purchases in Florida, based on 19th-century laws, but said those laws only concerned gun sales, not the right to carry guns.

Reuters contributed to this report.