GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — At what age should you be able to carry a gun in public?
Current law in Minnesota says no one under 21 is eligible for a permit to carry except police officers.
Three young adults in Minnesota believe that law is unconstitutional, and they along with three gun groups are suing state and county leaders in federal court hoping to overturn that law.
Kristin Worth, 18, of Mille Lacs, Austin Dye, 19, of Washington County, and Axel Anderson, 18, of Douglas County along with the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, Second Amendment Foundation and Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc. are suing the sheriffs of their counties and John Harrington, the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
“The crux of the legal argument is that the 2nd Amendment is a fundamental Constitutional right and it applies to all adults,” said Rob Doar, political director of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus.
The lawsuit alleges Minnesota's age floor on carrying a gun in public is a violation of the 2nd and 14th Amendments. It also claims the law is particularly unfair when applied to young women, who "commit violent offenses at an exceptionally low rate."
But anti-gun groups like Brady United say age doesn't matter, because they say states have the right to create their own gun laws.
“The people of Minnesota have the Constitutional authority to enact a restriction of public carry that they've chosen,” said Jonathan Lowy, vice president of legal and chief counsel for Brady United. “In fact, they could be even more restrictive.”
Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen told KARE 11, "I am sworn to uphold the laws and follow Minnesota statutes. A change in Minnesota gun laws requires legislative action."
The two other sheriffs could not be reached. A spokesperson for DPS said they do not comment on pending litigation.