Minn. Gov Humiliated: Promised More Gun Control, 24 Hours Later Fed Judge Strikes Down Key Minn. Gun Control Law
On Thursday, Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz promised a political “day of reckoning” for Republicans who dared to stand in the way of passing the gun control laws he wants – among other measures.
On Friday, a “day of reckoning” arrived but not in quite the way Walz expected.
U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Menendez threw out a state law that banned state residents between the ages of 18 and 20 from obtaining permits to legally carry handguns in public.
Here in Minnesota, we’re going to honor the lives lost in the Nashville elementary school shooting by passing commonsense gun violence prevention measures into law – like red flag laws and background checks.
For the safety of our children, Minnesota can and must lead on this. pic.twitter.com/Np7dWNjHOw
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) March 30, 2023
The ruling issued by Menendez drew heavily on the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen, which threw out a New York state law with a broad-based based ban on carrying handguns. As noted by Fox News, the Supreme Court ruling put the burden on states to show that any gun control law was “consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”
In her ruling, Menendez said that “neither the Second Amendment’s text nor other provisions within the Bill of Rights include an age limit.”
She added that “founding era militia laws lend support to the understanding that ‘the people’ referred to in the Second Amendment includes 18-to-20-year-olds.”
“Nor is the Court persuaded by the Commissioner’s assertion that because certain state militia laws from 1776 through 1825 required parents to provide weapons to their minor children, such minors would have been understood to fall outside of the Second Amendment’s scope,” she wrote.
“Based on a careful review of the record, the court finds that defendants have failed to identify analogous regulations that show a historical tradition in America of depriving 18- 20-year-olds the right to publicly carry a handgun for self-defense,” Menendez wrote.
“As a result, the age requirement prohibiting persons between the ages of 18 and 20 from obtaining such a permit to carry violates the Second Amendment,” she wrote.
Federal Judge Kate Menendez rules Minnesota law barring 18, 19, and 20-year-old people from getting permits to carry is unconstitutional. Her order immediately bars enforcement of the age 21-plus rule for gun permits. This stems from lawsuit by MN Gun Owners Caucus and others. pic.twitter.com/uy07yw8ECI
— John Croman (@JohnCroman) March 31, 2023
The ruling noted the extent to which the 2022 Bruen ruling changed the legal landscape of gun control court cases.
“If the Court were permitted to consider the value of these goals and how well Minnesota’s age requirement fits the ends to be achieved, the outcome here would likely be different. But whatever the evidence may reveal about the wisdom behind enacting a 21-year-old requirement for publicly carrying a handgun, such analysis belongs to a regime of means-end scrutiny scuttled by Bruen,” she wrote.
“Second Amendment jurisprudence now focuses a lens entirely on the choices made in a very different time, by a very different American people,” she wrote.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is seeking a stay while the state appeals, Fox reported.
Bryan Stawser, chair of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, called the ruling “a resounding victory for 18-20-year-old adults who wish to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms.”
“This decision should serve as a warning to anti-gun politicians in Minnesota that the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus and its allies will not hesitate to take legal actions against unconstitutional infringements on the Second Amendment rights of Minnesotans,” the group’s Senior Vice President and Political Director Rob Doar said.
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