BELLEVUE, WA – The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania has handed a significant victory to the Second Amendment Foundation and young adults in the 18-20-year age group, allowing them to apply for concealed carry licenses in the state, while enjoining the state from arresting any law-abiding citizens in that age group for openly carrying firearms during a state of emergency.

The case is known as Lara v. Evanchick. SAF is joined by the Firearms Policy Coalition and three private citizens, including Madison M. Lara, for whom the case is named. They are represented by attorneys Joshua Prince of the Civil Rights Defense Group, David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson and John D. Ohlendorf at Cooper & Kirk, Washington, D.C.

U.S. District Judge William S. Stickman, a Donald Trump appointee, issued the ruling in which he writes the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police “is hereby enjoined from arresting law-abiding persons 18 to 20 years old who openly carry firearms during a state of emergency declared by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” Judge Stickman further enjoined the commissioner and his subordinates from preventing “any individual between the ages of 18 and 20 years old, who are not disqualified from exercising their Second Amendment rights from carrying loaded, operable firearms, including handguns, on their person, in public and in their vehicles, for all lawful purposes including self-defense.”

“Judge Stickman’s injunction has conferred the same Second Amendment rights upon 18-20-year-olds that those over 21 have had,” said Adam Kraut, SAF’s Executive Director. “Now 18-20-year-olds in Pennsylvania may apply for License to Carry Firearms and the state’s draconian transportation laws have been enjoined from enforcement. This is a victory for Second Amendment rights in PA.”

This victory comes on the heels of a decision last month by the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to deny a petition by the state for a rehearing in the case. The court had ruled that young adults could carry firearms openly during states of emergency, and now Judge Stickman has expanded that to include their ability to apply for carry licenses.

“This is a major win for gun rights in the Keystone State,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We’re encouraged the courts are finally looking at this issue in terms of the constitutional rights of young adults.”