The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to consider whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms applies outside the home, taking a pass on a hot topic that has divided the lower courts.
The court declined to grant review of two laws that restrict handgun ownership by young adults — a federal law barring the sale of handguns to customers under 21 and a Texas law forbidding anyone under 21 to carry a handgun in public. Both laws were upheld by the lower courts.
In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to possess a gun at home for self-defense. Since then, the lower courts have split over the nature of gun rights beyond the home.
The case the court acted on Monday involved challenges brought by the National Rifle Association and a group of Texas residents under 21. The federal statute allows the sale of rifles and shotguns to anyone aged 18 or older but sets the minimum age for buying a handgun at 21. The Texas provision excludes anyone aged 18, 19, or 20 from a state law allowing adults to carry a handgun in public for self-defense.