Gun Rights Win: 3rd Circuit Refuses En Banc Review of Ruling Striking Down Ban on Carry Permits for Adults Under 21

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro
Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Here’s a news flash: law-abiding adults — whatever their age — can’t be prohibited from exercising their civil rights. All of them. At least not in the states that comprise the Third Circuit (think how happy New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy will be to hear that).

The Second Amendment Foundation and FPC had won a case heard by a Third Circuit three-judge panel over Pennsylvania law that prohibited adults under 21 years of age from getting a license to carry and toting their guns. Today, the Third Circuit rejected the state’s petition for an en banc review of the panel’s ruling.

That sound you hear in the distance is fist-pounding frustration and anguish emanating from Harrisburg, Trenton, and Dover. We’re all broken up about that. So is the Second Amendment foundation . . .

The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a petition for a rehearing in the Second Amendment Foundation’s victory in a case challenging Pennsylvania statutes that prohibit law-abiding young adults from carrying firearms for self-defense and prevents them from acquiring a state license to carry (LTCF) because of their age. The case is known as Lara v. Evanchick.

The petition for an en banc rehearing had been filed by attorneys representing the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. SAF is joined in the case by the Firearms Policy Coalition and three private citizens, including Madison M. Lara, for whom the case is named. They are represented by attorneys David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson and John D. Ohlendorf at Cooper & Kirk, Washington, D.C.

Writing for the majority, Circuit Judge Kent A. Jordan explained, “The petition for rehearing filed by appellant in the above-entitled case having been submitted to the judges who participated in the decision of this Court and to all the other available circuit judges of the circuit in regular active service, and no judge who concurred in the decision having asked for rehearing, and a majority of the judges of the circuit in regular service not having voted for rehearing, the petition for rehearing by the panel and the Court en banc, is DENIED.”

“We’re satisfied with the court’s decision,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “It’s an important win. The Third Circuit has affirmed that the Second Amendment applies to young adults, and that 1791 is the historical marker for understanding the right to keep and bear arms. Finally, the court has said 18-to-20-year-olds can open carry during a state of emergency in Pennsylvania.”

“We’ve been fighting this battle for more than three years,” noted SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut, who is a Pennsylvania resident and practicing attorney in the state. “The court’s decision is an important step forward to getting this issue resolved.”

One Response

  1. Any age minimum is an infringment. Thomas Jefferson, the mind behind the Bill of Rights, told his then 15 year old nephew he should make the gun “the constant companion of your walks”. To pretend he meant “once your 18” is what the internet calls acting “deliberately retarded”

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