Federal Judge Katherine Menendez handed a big, fat, juicy win to supporters of the Second Amendment this week, and the U.S. Supreme Court should be given credit for the success. In the landmark 2022 decision New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the Supremes struck down New York’s gun law on the carrying and transporting of a firearm. Judge Menendez used that 6-3 decision to put the hammer down on a Minnesota statute that cuts in on the right to bear arms.
Minnesota law “requires a person to obtain a permit to lawfully carry a handgun in public, but does not issue permits to anyone under the age of twenty-one,” wrote the judge. Then she asserted that Bruen “compels the conclusion that Minnesota’s permitting age restriction is unconstitutional….”
Gun Law Goes Down
The state legislature passed the Minnesota Citizens’ Personal Protection Act in 2003. In many ways, it’s similar to gun restrictions in other states, but they went wrong by applying the condition that an applicant had to be “at least 21 years old.” The measure also required petitioners to complete a gun safety training course.
Three people, along with the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc., cried foul. Plaintiffs Kristin Worth, Axel Anderson, and Austin Dye said they would be willing to take the training course, but that still left them lacking because of the age requirement.
In making her decision, Judge Menendez declared, in part, the “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 ….”
This most recent ruling reveals the power of the Bruen decision, which is now being used to cut a swath through numerous state laws that have been chipping away at Second Amendment rights. For example, Liberty Nation’s Legal Affairs Editor Scott Cosenza, Esq., recently penned an article citing an “academic analysis of lawsuits challenging gun control” and found:
“Jake Charles, an associate professor at Pepperdine University’s Caruso School of Law, shows that courts have already applied the 2022 Bruen case to strike down more laws than the landmark 2008 case, District of Columbia v. Heller. Charles writes that numerous suits filed against various gun control laws relying on Bruen have already succeeded in federal court.”
With each new tragedy involving firearms, legislators in many states rush to write and implement new gun laws. These restrictions have become onerous, and those who support the Second Amendment have maintained their constitutional right to bear arms has been infringed. Bruen provides ammunition – if you’ll pardon the pun – for those who hope to roll back these restrictions and gives judges like the Honorable Katherine Menendez a legal, safe space to build the foundation for their decisions.
In many ways, the right to bear arms has become ghettoized, with states like Minnesota at one end of the spectrum and places like Florida on the other. This week, a “constitutional carry” bill was passed by the state legislature in the Sunshine State and was sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who is expected to sign it. The measure will give gun owners a right that most Second Amendment advocates argue was already theirs – the ability to carry a firearm without a permit.
Sponsored by Tampa Republican Sen. Jay Collins, the new law would end mandatory training, state fees, and background checks. This would make Florida the 26th state to allow constitutional carry.
North Carolina also rolled back its firearm permit system this week when the state legislature overturned the governor’s veto of legislation that eliminates the requirement to obtain a “pistol purchase permit” before buying a handgun. So it seems the sun is beginning to shine again on the Second Amendment and in no small part due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, which appears to be helping restore gun rights to Americans one ruling at a time.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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