A few calls later, I finally reached Mr. Todd Schmidt (the hero of this story) who actually listened. I told him about the ruling, and he told me that they'd not been given info yet, but he promised to follow through. I sent him this followup email a he requested:
A week later, I got this in the mail from him:Thank you for taking the time to reach out to me today. I genuinely appreciate the attention you’re giving to this question.
I have attached a PDF of the Andrews vs. McCraw Opinion by Mark Pittman, US District Judge. The one I have is downloaded from the net, so please do the due diligence to make sure I’ve actually found the latest proper revision. It would be bad for me to suggest something, and then y’all to make a decision on this document if there is a later revision.
I’m no lawyer, so my interpretation may be way off. I’ve highlighted a few key passages in here that form the basis of the opinion that I presented to you today on the phone.
I do welcome your thoughts on this after you discuss this with your colleagues in the RSD. I am available if you have any questions, and I look forward to hearing the ultimate result of this discussion.
- On page 1 of the document, Pittman starts by providing a background – providing a basis for his opinion. Part of this background (highlighted on page 3) discusses how 18-20 year olds are prohibited with or without a license.
- On page 13, he opens a discussion on the nation’s history of gun regulation. Within this section, on the bottom of page 13, he discusses how we are a shall-issue state. He closes this paragraph on page 14 by saying that a ‘shall issue regime cannot allow a state to prohibit a class of persons from exercising their Second Amendment right solely based on their age.
- On page 19, he mentions, “Thus, the Court concludes Texas failed to produce sufficient historical analogs from the Founding Era and the Reconstruction Era to support its statutory prohibition. The Court therefore enjoins the Texas laws to the extent they prohibit law-abiding 18-to-20-year-olds from applying for a license to carry a handgun.
- Later on page 19, he opens the section on why he is issuing a temporary stay on his ruling. On page 20, he explains there are four reasons to do so. Reasons 2, 3, and 4 are referenced again lower on page 20 as ‘weighing heavily in favor of granting the injunction’. The justification for how they weigh heavy is that, “Texas also has an interest in the full adjudication of this issue before it issues potentially invalid licenses to carry a handgun.” This clearly indicates that if and when his ruling is finally finished with the appeals process, it will have a direct impact on the licensing program.
- And finally, on page 22 he issues his order, stating that, “To the extent that Texas’s statutory scheme, TEX. PENAL CODE § 46.02(a) and TEX. GOV’T CODE §§ 411.172(a)(2), (g), (h), (i), prohibits law-abiding 18-to-20-year-olds from carrying handguns for self-defense outside the home based solely on their age, this statutory scheme violates the Second Amendment, as incorporated against the States via the Fourteenth Amendment.” In this order, he is referencing two codes: PC 46.02 and GC 411.172. I do agree that the PC 46.02 references unlicensed carry, but GC 411.172(a)(s) is a clear reference to the age requirements for a license to carry.
And today I received this!Our legal team has been working with the AG office and we are waiting on our legal team to post an official response to our handgun licensing webpage. Hopefully that’ll be within a few days. Here’s a link to where it’ll be posted..
Program News | Department of Public Safety (texas.gov)
Feel free to reach back out if you don’t see anything posted by the end of next week.
Thank you to Mr. Schmidt at the DPS RSD for following though with my query!A response has been added to our website - Eligibility FAQs | Department of Public Safety (texas.gov) . It is question 9 of the FAQ’s.
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.
Instructors, it seems we can now have 18+ year old students in our classes.