A federal judge ruled Friday that Minnesota’s policy of denying permits to carry to 18 to 20-year-olds is unconstitutional.
The case began with a June 2021 lawsuit filed by three gun-rights groups, including the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, on behalf of three adults under the age of 21.
The lawsuit called the ban “unconstitutional on its face” but particularly unfair to young women.
“Females between the ages of 18 and 21 commit violent offenses at an exceptionally low rate, and there is absolutely no basis for broadly prohibiting them from carrying firearms in public,” the complaint said.
The commissioner of public safety and a handful of county sheriffs were named as defendants.
U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Menendez said in her ruling that the Supreme Court’s landmark 2022 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen left her no choice but to invalidate Minnesota’s restriction.
“The Supreme Court’s recent decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen … compels the conclusion that Minnesota’s permitting age restriction is unconstitutional, and Plaintiffs are entitled to judgment as a matter of law,” she wrote.
Without the Bruen decision, the “outcome here would likely be different,” she said.
“But whatever the evidence may reveal about the wisdom behind enacting a 21-year-old requirement for publicly carrying a handgun, such analysis belongs to a regime of means-end scrutiny scuttled by Bruen,” she wrote. “Under Bruen, the balancing of interests in public safety and the right to keep and bear arms has already been ‘struck by the traditions of the American people.’”
According to Fox News, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed an emergency motion requesting a stay on the ruling.
“This decision should serve as a warning to anti-gun politicians in Minnesota that the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus and its allies will not hesitate to take legal actions against unconstitutional infringements on the Second Amendment rights of Minnesotans,” said Rob Doar, senior vice president and political director of that group.
The victory for Second Amendment advocates comes amid a flurry of gun control legislation proposed at the Capitol. Gov. Tim Walz expressed confidence last week that the DFL trifecta, which hinges on a one-seat majority in the Senate, will pass red flag and universal background check legislation.