Young Adults in Pennsylvania Win the Right to Carry

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Yesterday’s decision at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania marks a turning point for young adults aged 18 to 20.

In a big win spearheaded by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), the court ruled that these young Pennsylvanians could now apply for concealed carry licenses.

Additionally, during any state of emergency, they will no longer face the threat of arrest for openly carrying firearms, ensuring their Second Amendment rights are upheld.

The groundbreaking case, known as Lara v. Evanchick, saw SAF collaborate with the Firearms Policy Coalition and three individuals, including Madison M. Lara, the case’s namesake.

A robust legal team, including Joshua Prince of the Civil Rights Defense Group and attorneys David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson, and John D. Ohlendorf from Cooper & Kirk in Washington, D.C., championed their cause.

Appointed by Donald Trump, U.S. District Judge William S. Stickman delivered the ruling with a clear message: Law-abiding young adults should not be arrested for openly carrying firearms during states of emergency declared in Pennsylvania.

The ruling also protects the right of these individuals to carry loaded, operable firearms, including handguns, on their person, in public, and in their vehicles, affirming their rights to self-defense.

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Adam Kraut, SAF’s Executive Director, celebrated the verdict.

“Judge Stickman’s injunction has conferred the same Second Amendment rights upon 18-20-year-olds that those over 21 have had,” said Kraut. “Now 18-20-year-olds in Pennsylvania may apply for License to Carry Firearms and the state’s draconian transportation laws have been enjoined from enforcement. This is a victory for Second Amendment rights in PA.”

The victory follows closely on the heels of another triumph where the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused Pennsylvania’s petition for a rehearing last month.

The earlier decision allowed young adults to openly carry firearms during emergencies, and Judge Stickman’s recent expansion includes their eligibility for carry licenses.

Alan M. Gottlieb, SAF’s founder and Executive Vice President, expressed optimism.

“This is a major win for gun rights in the Keystone State,” said Gottlieb. “We’re encouraged the courts are finally looking at this issue in terms of the constitutional rights of young adults.”

With this decision, Pennsylvania’s young adults can now fully embrace their right to bear arms with confidence.

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