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November 17, 2010
12:17 PM

CONTACT: Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Peter Hamm,
Communications Director
Doug Pennington,
Assistant Director: 202-898-0792.

Brady Center Urges Court to Throw Out NRA Lawsuit to Allow Teenagers to Carry Concealed Firearms

WASHINGTON - November 17 - The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence today filed a brief in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas urging the court to throw out an NRA lawsuit claiming that teens and young persons ages 18-20 have a constitutional right to carry loaded, concealed weapons in public.

“It is dangerous and reckless for the NRA to claim that teenagers should be allowed to carry loaded semiautomatic weapons on our streets and playgrounds.  The Second Amendment allows for commonsense gun laws, it doesn’t require that we legally allow armed teens in our communities,” said Brady Center President Paul Helmke. 

The lawsuit, filed by the National Rifle Association, claims that the Second Amendment requires that states allow teens and young persons ages 18-20 to carry loaded firearms in public.  It seeks to overturn a Texas law that generally prohibits the carrying of loaded, concealed weapons by people under age 21.  Texas is one of 36 states that restricts the possession or carrying of firearms by teens and young persons ages 18-20.  The Texas Constitution specifically allows the regulation of public gun carrying, stating that the “Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.”

The brief cites studies showing that young persons under 21 often lack the same ability as adults to “govern impulsivity, judgment, planning for the future, and foresight of consequences.” People aged 18-20 fall within the age range of offenders who commit the highest rates homicide and engage in criminal gun possession.

According to the Brady Center brief, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Second Amendment protects a limited, narrow “right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home” but has also made clear that the right to bear arms “is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons.”  Laws restricting teenage gun possession and carrying are reasonable gun laws permissible under the Second Amendment.

The Brady Center amicus brief was filed today in the case D’Cruz v. McCraw by attorneys with the Brady Center, the law firm Hogan Lovells and Texas attorney Scott Medlock.  The Brady Center was joined on the brief by Texas organizations Mothers Against Teen Violence and the Texas Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and its legislative and grassroots affiliate, the Brady Campaign and its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, is the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence.

We are devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.


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