In a rare case that pitted Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott against the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case involving the NRA’s request to lower the age limit for conceal-carry permits and purchasing a firearm.
Abbott defended Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steve McCraw in his assessment that lowering the age requirement for anyone applying for a conceal handgun license from 21 to 18 would disrupt public safety.
Washington, D.C., attorney David Thompson represented the NRA, who wanted to lower the age requirement on a national level.
"The incidence of misconduct by those who sit for the eight-hour test, fingerprint, demonstrate that they are free of any criminal or mental health problems, its less than .001 percent," Thompson said.
Thompson said Abbott has a duty to defend a valid state law, but the attorney general can determine a state law is indefensible and back away from representing the state -- that wasn’t the case here.
"I’m actually disappointed with General Abbott because our men and women are able to sacrifice and give their life for this country but they we are not willing to stand up for them and allow to protect themselves while they are here," said Michael Cargill, who owns Central Texas Gun Works and teaches conceal-carry classes in Austin.
Thompson said this is an issue that will not go away and the NRA is weighing their option of filing an immediate new lawsuit. The Supreme Court did not release comments as to the reasoning behind their decision to not hear the case.
For now, those wanting to obtain a conceal-carry permit must first be 21 years old.