NRA Loses Again in District Court in Texas Case

NRA had already lost on the challenge of the Federal ban on 19-20 year olds purchasing handguns, now they’ve also lost on the challenge to the Texas law that denies permits to 19-20 year olds. Looks like it went before the same judge, so not too surprising it’s the same result. I think the challenge to the purchase restriction is in principle a good idea. I don’t agree with running a carry-based case at the same time. Let the Supreme Court and circuit courts decide on carry independently, and let them decide on the purchase prohibition for 18-20 year olds. Then take the two concepts and tie them together for a challenge to carry. Once Judge Cummings had ruled on the 18-20 year olds for purchase, carry was fore drawn conclusion. I don’t see what strategic sense it made for NRA to fund these in parallel.

14 thoughts on “NRA Loses Again in District Court in Texas Case”

  1. His ruling looks like it used the “Heller only applies in the home” misread. Once the Supremes get around to straightening that out a lot of these bad precedents won’t apply to new challenges.

  2. Does anyone else feel that the NRA is trying to step up the lawsuits in response to accusations of not being as proactive as the SAF?

  3. No worries. We expect to lose these lower court rulings. It’s another story entirely on appeal. Give it time.

  4. I would note that, unlike the anti-freedom crowd, we are more willing to call a loss a loss, not a victory in loser’s clothing. I guess that’s because we tend to move on and later get a real win.

  5. Which is dumb, because it’s legal for an 18 year old to possess a handgun in TX, just not carry it. Smart.

  6. If I understand correctly, Texas law prohibits handgun purchase by, or sale to, those under 21 years of age. However, giving a gift of a handgun to someone under 21 is OK. Then the carry prohibitions come into play, since 21 is the lower cutoff for licensed carry, and Texas has no lawful open carry of handguns (except for LEOs, sporting handgun competitions, some exhibitions, and hunting).

    So my 17 year old daughter who has her own revolver cannot carry it for self defense outside the home, except maybe in a vehicle while traveling (although not tested in court yet that I know of) or to and from a range (again, not court-tested).

    The court cases made sense for Texas kids, who have parents that legally give them guns as gifts. This constituency is just not large enough to move the opinion of the court off its default judgement position, against individual freedom.

  7. mikee,

    So Texas doesn’t allow for 18+ to buy handguns from private parties? That’s how I got my first pistols.

    I haven’t seen it tested but Alaska state law doesn’t restrict open carry for otherwise non-prohibited persons. So 16 year olds (some people claim 14) can (theoretically anyway) legally possess and open-carry loaded weapons for self-defense under state law. Concealed is limited to 21+, permitted or not.

    Although, being engaged in hunting, fishing or other outdoor activity is an exception to the concealed restriction, you get to put on a coat if it rains at the fishing hole. Probably wouldn’t work in the mall. =)

  8. Indiana will give you a lifetime toter’s permit at 18, no training requirement, for $100. Best bargain this side of Constitutional Carry. :D

  9. I haven’t read the decisions, but I can toss out two reasons to do the cases separately that are smart:

    conflicting opinions
    If these had been before different judges, or for whatever reason, and gotten different results the other could be appealed as in conflict with the first. You would have better odds of getting conflicting opinions with different judges and can only hope to get different judges if they’re different cases.

    one issue at a time
    Generally a case is much easier to argue and support when there are very limited issues, preferably only one. If things get too complicated then it’s hard to track how it all fits. Arguing one thing at a time is much easier (and thus takes less time and money) and later gives you multiple chances at getting where you want (especially if you add in conflicting opinions).

    separate parties
    The third reason it could have to be this way, whether they like it or not, is if they don’t have a party to bring both issues at the same time. There has to be someone to be the face of the case, usually an individual, sometimes a class, occasionally an entity. Since we’re dealing with an individual right, they probably need a specific individual. They may not have had a good face to bring both cases and thus not be able to.

    My overall guess would be that they’re trying for a snowball effect. Get lots of opinions all over the place, work the appeals up the courts, and eventually place it at the top in a way it has to be heard because the law is otherwise a mess of different opinions.

    Disclaimer: I am a lawyer in Iowa, not Texas or any other state. In Iowa I can give legal advice. Anywhere else, I’m just another argumentative bastard.

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