Federal Court Ruling Leads to Handgun Age Limit Repeal for Young Adults in Texas
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has stopped enforcing a state law that prohibits adults under 21 from carrying handguns in public, following a federal judge’s ruling that the age limit is unconstitutional. The court order applies specifically to DPS and prosecutors in the North Texas counties of Fannin, Grayson and Parker. However, legal experts say the ruling could influence local police departments’ decisions in the future about how to enforce the handgun age restrictions, which is one of the few gun laws the GOP-led legislature has left intact in recent years. The state dropped an appeal of the decision in December, and neither DPS nor the Texas Attorney General’s office has given a public explanation for the decision.
“There’s only so much law enforcement that can be undertaken,” said Seth Chandler, a professor of law at University of Houston Law Center. “Given a choice between a law that’s clearly constitutional… and a law whose constitutionality is in doubt, they might choose to enforce the one that is clearer.”Professor Chandler, interviewed by Dallas News
Read More: Dallas News
Sugar Land Newspaper is bringing you the latest news!
Q: What is the change in Texas law that the Texas Department of Public Safety is implementing?
A: The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is no longer enforcing a state law that bars adults under 21 from carrying handguns in public.
Q: What led to this change in the law?
A: The change was announced after a federal judge declared the age limits unconstitutional, and the state gave up defending the handgun law without any explanation.
Q: How could this ruling influence local police departments in Texas?
A: Legal experts say the ruling could influence local police departments’ decisions going forward about how to enforce the handgun age restrictions and offer a line of defense to someone fighting charges.
Q: What are the age restrictions for carrying handguns in Texas?
A: Texas has barred most 18 to 20 year-olds from carrying handguns in public, unless they are in the military or have taken out a protective order.
Q: What is the response of local law enforcement to this court ruling?
A: Not all local law enforcement agencies are following the DPS’s lead, with some stating that they will continue to enforce the age restrictions until they receive further instruction.