When I was a child, I could go to the local Western Auto store and drool over the rifles that were right there in floor-level racks for me to touch. I even bought and used a lot of .22 ammo.
But, legislators, governors, presidents, and judges have long disrespected the Second Amendment (2A), treating it as the red-headed stepchild of the Bill of Rights. As a result, reams of legislation and court decisions have arisen that have denied citizens their 2A rights one way or another.
Among these was the Gun Control Act of 1968, signed into law by Lyndon Johnson (D). That law, in addition to other things, created a dealer network, and prohibited dealer sales of long guns and their ammo to those under 18; and handguns and their ammo to those under 21. Dealers were required to keep a record of ammo sales. Being under 21, I could not buy pistol ammo. When I went to buy .22's, I had to state on the form that they were for a rifle.
That has always stuck in my craw.
Now, more than half a century later, thanks to the Supreme Court's Bruen decision, suits have been filed around the country to restore 2A rights to adults aged 18-20.
Tennessee, along with most other states (that recognize the 2A right to carry at some level) prohibits 18-20 year old's from carrying a handgun with or without a permit, and according to Tennessee law, they
"are deemed categorically too immature and irresponsible to carry loaded handguns in public for self-defense or any other lawful purpose. . . . . . yet they would, overnight, supposedly become mature and responsible enough if they were to join the military." this from the Firearms Policy Coalition's amended complaint, Para 74 as stated here:
74. Ironically, pursuant to Tennessee’s law, Section 39-17-1307, et seq., 18-20-year-olds may be prosecuted for numerous firearms-related offenses and are thereby considered mature enough to be held fully accountable for all their criminal actions. Yet, under the Challenged Scheme that Defendants are actively enforcing and will continue to enforce absent the relief requested herein, even the most law-abiding 18-to-20-year-olds are deemed categorically too immature and irresponsible to carry loaded handguns in public for self-defense or any other lawful purpose. This is so even though under the Challenged Scheme they would, overnight, supposedly become mature and responsible enough if they were to join the military.
It will be interesting to watch and see if the Tennessee Attorney General will capitulate, in keeping with Bruen, or expend taxpayer capital to appeal an almost sure loss at the trial court level. There will be officials from other states who will be drug kicking and screaming to their respective appellate courts, with the inevitable Supreme Court showdown.
Many of Tennessee's R-ish legislators of the last several decades have been reluctantly slow to restore the 2A to its co-equal standing with the rest of the Bill of Rights. They first passed a very restrictive, very expensive carry permit system. Over time, they lifted many of those restrictions due to pressure from the Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA) and many rights advocates. Restrictions included premises prohibitions such as restaurant carry, convenience store carry, grocery store carry, parks carry, etc. They have recently passed a permitless carry scheme, but still have some onerous restrictions on where one may carry.
So, what can you do to help roll back these unconstitutional gun laws?
Breaking: SAF has filed suit today against the Federal Government challenging the Federal prohibition on dealer sales of handguns to these young 18-20 year old adults.