Texas Young Adults Can Now Carry Handguns

According to a Dallas Morning News report published at the end of February, Texans under the age of 21 are now acquiring concealed carry licenses. 

Until a ruling made by federal Judge Mark Pittman back in August, the majority of Texans had to wait until they turned 21 to apply for a concealed handgun license. 

However, that has changed after the ruling which has made thousands of young adults eligible to acquire handgun licenses, thereby making them able to carry handguns on university campuses, certain businesses, and across state lines. 

The Texas Department of Public Safety, which is in charge of the licensing process, rolled out this change in the middle of January. Since that time, DPS claims to have received over 100 applications from newly eligible young adults and issued 17 licenses. 

Traditionally, it was legal for individuals under 21 to carry long guns such as rifles and semi-automatic rifles in public without a license. However, back then, state law prevented adults below the age of 21 from obtaining a license to carry handguns unless they’re in the military or have an active protective order.

The Firearms Policy Coalition, a program Second Amendment organization based in Nevada, took on the handgun age limits in 2021 on behalf of two Texan plaintiffs from Fannin and Parker counties. 

District Judge Mark Pittman agreed with the plaintiffs last August, ruling that Texas’ law at the time infringed on the Second Amendment. Pittman was appointed by former President Donald Trump and his order prevented DPS from enforcing the restrictions against “law-abiding 18-to-20-year-olds based solely on their age.”

The state initially pushed back against Pittman’s order, but later withdrew the appeal in December, thereby allowing Pittman’s decision to stay in effect.

In January, DPS stopped enforcing the 21-year handgun limit. 

Despite lagging for some time on issues such as constitutional carry and open carry, Texas has turned into one of the most pro-gun states in the Union. According to Guns & Ammo magazine’s best states for gun owner rankings, Texas is ranked in an excellent 8th place.  

With this measure now in effect that allows for all lawful Texas adults to carry handguns, the Lone Star State will continue to be a pillar for Second Amendment freedoms. Let’s hope that gun rights activists continue to keep the state’s pro-gun image intact.

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