Update: Appeal Dismissed on Age Limitation for Texas CHL Adult Applicants

Texas Gun iStock-884200682
On the 2nd day of Christmas, more anti-gun measures from Bloomberg and Beto in Texas. IMG iStock-884200682

On November 9th, 2021, the Firearms Policy Coalition filed a lawsuit against the State of Texas, titled, at the time, Andrews v. McCraw in the North District of Texas. From the complaint:

To be sure, Plaintiffs acknowledge that their facial challenge to Texas’s ban on public carry by 18-to-20-year-olds is foreclosed in this Court by National Rifle Association of America Rifle, Inc. v. McCraw, 719 F.3d 338 (5th Cir. 2013), but they believe that case was wrongly decided. They therefore institute this litigation to vindicate their Second Amendment rights and seek to have McCraw overruled by a court competent to do so. Even under McCraw, however, this Court can and should rule in favor of Plaintiffs’ as-applied claim with respect to 18-to-20-year-old women asserted by Plaintiffs Blakey and FPC on behalf of its similarly situated members.

On August 25, 2022, Judge Mark T. Pittman issued an order showing the Texas age limitation of 21 for adults to apply for a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) was unconstitutional under the Bruen decision of the Supreme Court.

Opinion and Order of the court District Court Northern District of Texas Judge Mark T Pittman:

The issue is whether prohibiting law-abiding 18-to-20-year-olds from carrying a handgun in public for self-defense is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. Based on the Second Amendment’s text, as informed by Founding-Era history and tradition, the Court concludes that the Second Amendment protects against this prohibition. Texas’s statutory scheme must therefore be enjoined to the extent that law-abiding 18-to-20-year-olds are prohibited from applying for a license to carry a handgun. 

On September 22, 2022, the State of Texas appealed the case to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

On December 21, 2022, the State of Texas appeal was dismissed at the request of the appellant, Steven C. McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety. From the court document:

the appeal is dismissed as of December 21, 2022, pursuant to Appellant’s unopposed motion.

Update, From the dps.texas.gov:

9. Can an individual who is between the age of 18 to 20 years old apply for a license?

​​​​​ A federal district court has ruled the Department can no longer apply the License to Carry statutory eligibility criteria that prohibit otherwise eligible 18-to-20 year-olds from obtaining the license.  Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc. et. al., v. Steven McCraw, et. al., No. 4:21-cv-1245-P.  The Department will therefore no longer deny applications solely on the basis that the applicants are 18-to-20 years old.


It appears the State of Texas Department of Public Safety will now start accepting applications for Concealed Handgun licenses from adult residents of Texas over 18 years old.

The Texas Constitutional Carry act limited the lawful carry of handguns to people over 21. The precedent has been set that adults 18 and over have the right to carry handguns with a permit.  We may see a challenge to the law requiring they must have a permit to carry handguns in Texas.

Historical laws which limit what people under 18 may do are few and inconsistent, except for voting. As an example, voting was limited, generally to adults which were 21 or over.  Age limits on the carry of firearms are not generally found before 1968, so they are very new, historically.

The restoration of rights protected by the Second Amendment continues, boosted by the Supreme Court decision in Bruen.

Progressive philosophy holds the Constitution is outdated and must be worked around. History holds no precedent for Progressive, as noted in the primary argument they put forward when they ignore Constitutional constraints:

That was then. This is now.  Only a couple of parts of the Constitution are time limited.

No amendments to the Constitution are allowed before the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, affecting the first and fourth clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article.  The first clause is the migration or importation clause above. The fourth clause deals with imposing taxes.

As it is more than two hundred years past 1808, changes to the Constitution can be made with the amendment process. There is no mechanism to change the Constitution with mere legislation.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten