Herring supports Pennsylvania’s firearm age regulations
Attorney General Mark R. Herring has filed an amicus brief defending a Pennsylvania law limiting the issuance of concealed-carry licenses to people ages 21 and up.
In the brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Herring and a coalition of 20 attorneys general argue that states have the right to enact reasonable, age-based firearm regulations that protect public safety and reduce the prevalence of gun violence.
Herring and his colleagues filed the brief in Lara v. Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, a lawsuit challenging a Pennsylvania law that generally restricts the issuance of concealed-carry permits to people ages 21 and up. A lower court ruled in this case that laws regulating the sale of firearms to young people are longstanding and constitutional.
“States must have the ability to enact reasonable, age-based firearm regulations that keep their communities and their citizens safe,” Herring said. “These and other age-based gun safety measures have proven effective in maintaining public safety and potentially keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. I will continue to stand with my colleagues in supporting a state’s right to enact commonsense gun safety policies that maintain public safety goals and keep communities and families safe.”
In the brief, Herring and his colleagues argue that the Second Amendment gives states the ability to enact sensible regulations designed to protect the public, including age-based restrictions that limit the ability of people younger than 21 to carry concealed firearms in public.
Although regulations differ based on each state’s needs, virtually every state and the District of Columbia has imposed some age-based restrictions on the sale or use of firearms, and over 30 states and the District of Columbia have enacted statutes which prohibit people younger than 21 from carrying concealed firearms in public. Similarly, courts across the country consistently have upheld age-based regulations, noting that the goal of these regulations is to deter crime and promote public safety.