FPC Files New 2A Lawsuit to Strike Down Illinois’ Ban on Handgun Carry for Adults Under Age 21

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EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (May 27, 2021) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced that it has filed a new federal Second Amendment lawsuit seeking to restore the right of adults under age 21 to carry loaded, operable arms in public for self-defense and other lawful purposes. The case, David Meyer, et al. v. Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, et al., is another lawsuit in FPC’s strategic litigation program to restore the right to keep and bear arms throughout the United States. The complaint can be found at FPCLegal.org.

Under Illinois law, ordinary adult residents are generally prohibited from carrying handguns in public for self-defense unless they first acquire a license to carry. However, people between the ages of 18 and 21, who are adults for almost every lawful purpose, are prohibited from obtaining said license. Thus, under the State’s laws, no adult under age 21 can carry for any reason, at any time, anywhere in public—precisely the sort of categorical ban that the Supreme Court has held to be unconstitutional under any form of judicial review.

“At the time of the Founding, peaceable individuals aged eighteen and above had the right to carry arms for self-defense and other lawful purposes,” the complaint explains. “The tradition of disarming violent and dangerous persons was practiced from medieval England through mid-20th century America, but there is no tradition of disarming nonviolent people like Plaintiffs Meyer, Nalley, and Davis.” Additionally, the complaint alleges that the state’s prohibition “is particularly illegitimate as applied to young women” because “[f]emales between the ages of 18 and 21 commit violent offenses at an exceptionally low rate, and there is absolutely no basis for broadly prohibiting them from carrying firearms in public.”

“There is simply no constitutionally acceptable justification for Illinois to completely deny a broad class of adults their fundamental, individual right to bear arms,” explained FPC Senior Director of Legal Operations Adam Kraut. “The laws, policies, and enforcement practices at issue in this case are nothing less than an unconstitutional ban on carrying arms in public. As Illinois should know by now, no state is exempt from complying with the Constitution and Second Amendment. FPC will fight to restore our clients’ and members’ rights, in this case and others we will be filing in the coming weeks and months.”

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The Meyer case was filed today in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, within the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, against defendants Kwame Raoul, Attorney General of Illinois; Brenden Kelly, Director of the Illinois State Police; Joshua C. Morrison, State’s Attorney of Fayette County; James Gomric, State’s Attorney of St. Clair County; Eric Weis, State’s Attorney of Kendall County; Christopher Palmer, Sheriff of Fayette County; Richard Watson, Sheriff of St. Clair County; and Dwight A. Baird, Sheriff of Kendall County. FPC has also filed lawsuits challenging similarly unconstitutional restrictions in California, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Georgia.

Individuals that are interested in joining FPC in the fight against tyranny can become a member of the FPC Grassroots Army for just $25 at JoinFPC.org.

Firearms Policy Coalition and its FPC Law team are the nation’s next-generation advocates leading the Second Amendment litigation and research space. Some FPC legal actions include:

For more on these cases and other legal action initiatives, visit FPCLegal.org and follow FPC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org), a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, exists to create a world of maximal human liberty, defend constitutional rights, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom. FPC’s efforts are focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and adjacent issues including freedom of speech, due process, unlawful searches and seizures, separation of powers, asset forfeitures, privacy, encryption, and limited government. The FPC team are next-generation advocates working to achieve the Organization’s strategic objectives through litigation, research, scholarly publications, amicus briefing, legislative and regulatory action, grassroots activism, education, outreach, and other programs. FPC Law (FPCLaw.org), the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, lead the Second Amendment litigation and research space.

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