ORIGINAL CASE TITLE
This case was initially titled “Worth v. Harrington” – the case was retitled “Worth v. Jacobson” after Bob Jacobson replaced John Harrington as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety in 2023.
In this case, the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, along with 3 individual plaintiffs, the 2nd Amendment Foundation, and the Firearms Policy Coalition, sued the State of Minnesota and three county sheriffs to restore the right of adults under 21 years of age to carry loaded, operable arms in public for self-defense and other lawful purposes.
On March 31st, 2023, we prevailed in this case with US District Judge Kathleen Menendez, a Biden appointee, striking down Minnesota’s limits on 18-20-year-olds from obtaining permits. This judgment was issued with immediate effect. Later that day, the State filed an emergency request for a stay of the ruling to consider an appeal and “implement systems” that would allow them to issue permits.
On April 24th, 2023, Judge Menendez stayed the decision for 30 days or pending appeal. At this time, 18-20 year old adults in Minnesota are still being denied their right to bear arms until the stay expires or an appeal is decided upon.
The case is currently pending submission of the appeal at the 8th Circuit. Oral arguments have not yet been scheduled.
CURRENT STATUS & NEXT STEPS
- We have won in District Court – see Summary Judgment for Plaintiffs above.
- On March 31st, 2023, the State filed for an emergency stay of the injunction to consider an appeal and “implement systems” that would allow them to issue permits to 18-20-year-olds.
- On April 24th, 2023, Judge Menendez stayed the decision for 30 days or indefinitely ending appeal. Currently, 18-20-year-olds cannot apply for permits until the stay is lifted, which will not be until the 8th Circuit rules on the state’s appeal (below).
- On May 17th, 2023, the State filed a notice of appeal to the 8th circuit. The case will now go to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in Omaha, Nebraska, where a randomly chosen 3-judge panel will hear it.
- The State has filed their appeal briefing (see below). We must file our response by August 11th, 2023. Oral arguments will then be set for later in the year. We do not expect a decision before 2024.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Where can I read the ruling?
- You can read the 50+ page ruling at this link. The full case docket with every filing in the case is available below.
- When does the ruling take effect?
- On April 24th, 2023, Judge Menendez stayed the decision for 30 days or indefinitely pending appeal. Currently, 18-20-year-olds cannot apply for permits until the stay is resolved.
- What does enjoin mean?
- It means the state cannot enforce the law in question, in this case, the age restriction requirements in MN 624.714, the Permit to Carry law.
- Does this mean that 18-20 year olds can apply for a Permit to Carry today?
- No, on April 24th, 2023, Judge Menendez stayed the decision for 30 days or pending appeal.
- Does this impact any other laws?
- Not directly, no. This lawsuit was specifically about this law, but it does allow us to point at this ruling in other cases and in policy debates at the legislature.
- Can an 18-20 year old purchase a handgun or ammunition at a dealer?
- Federal law prohibits a person under 21 from purchasing a firearm or handgun ammunition at a dealer. Our national partners in other states are litigating that issue.
- Is it legal for an 18-20 year old to possess a handgun in Minnesota?
- There is no prohibition on an 18-20 year old adult from possessing a handgun or ammunition in Minnesota. They just can’t purchase one at a dealer.
- A 18-20 year old may purchase a handgun in a private sale or receive one as a bona fide gift.
- Will this change reciprocity?
- The MN Department of Public Safety has generally taken a very strict view of “similar” when it comes to comparing Minnesota’s Permit to Carry law to other states. One of the reasons they have refused to honor several states is because they issued permits to 18-20 year old adults.
- We anticipate DPS reviewing this after final judgment in the ruling has been entered. We are unsure of the timing.
- Will the state appeal?
- The state filed a notice of appeal on May 17th, 2023.
- Where would an appeal go?
- An appeal from the US District Court for Minnesota would go to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in Omaha, Nebraska.
- It would be assigned to a randomly selected 3-judge panel. They would accept written materials and then schedule oral arguments.
- An appeal would likely take several months.
- Case Title: Kristin Worth, Austin Dye, Axel Anderson, Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, Second Amendment Foundation, & Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc. v. Bob Jacobson, Kyle Burton, Troy Wolbersen, & Dan Starry.
- When this case was filed, John Harrington was the Commissioner of DPS and Don Lorge was the Sheriff of Mille Lacs County. However, Bob Jacobson was sworn in as the Commissioner of DPS on January 3, 2023, and Kyle Burton is now the Mille Lacs County Sheriff. Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 25(d), Mr. Jacobson and Mr. Burton are automatically substituted as parties.
- Current Court: United States District Court for the District of Minnesota – the case is currently assigned to Judge Katherine M. Menendez
- Previous Court(s): N/A.
- District Court Case #: 0:21-CV-01348
- District Court Docket: View the case docket by clicking here
- 8th Circuit Case #: 23-2248
- 8th Circuit Court Docket: View the case docket by clicking here
- June 8th, 2021: Bearing Arms – 2A groups launch legal challenge to Minnesota carry laws
- June 9th, 2021: Star Tribune – Three young adults, gun groups sue over Minnesota’s 21 age requirement for gun carry permits
- June 9th, 2021: Associated Press – Young adults sue for right to carry guns in Minnesota
- June 9th, 2021: KARE-11 – Three young adults sue for right to carry guns in Minnesota
- June 9th, 2021: WCCO – 3 young adults file federal lawsuit, sue for right to carry guns in Minnesota
- June 15th, 2021: Bemidji Pioneer – 18-year-old sues central Minnesota sheriff as part of a challenge to state’s gun laws
- June 30th, 2021: Mille Lacs Messenger – Milaca woman sues over right to carry a handgun
- September 4th, 2022: Star Tribune – National groups intervene in federal suit over Minnesota’s age limit for carrying handguns
- March 31st, 2023: Courthouse News Service – Judge finds Minnesota age limit on gun carry permits unconstitutional
- March 31st, 2023: Bearing Arms – Federal judge rules Minnesota’s under-21 carry ban unconstitutional
- March 31st, 2023: Reuters – Minnesota’s 21-year age minimum for handgun carry permits struck down
- March 31st, 2023: Ammoland – Judge says law restricting carry permits for 18-20 year olds unconstitutional
- March 31st, 2023: Second Amendment Foundation – SAF Victory in Minnesota as Judge Allows CCW for Young Adults
- March 31st, 2023: Fox 9 – Judge rules Minnesota’s age requirement for pistol permits violates 2nd Amendment
- March 31st, 2023: KSTP – Federal judge strikes down Minnesota’s age requirement for gun permits
- March 31st, 2023: KARE-11 – Judge overturns Minnesota’s age restriction on gun carry permits
- March 31st, 2023: WCCO – Judge strikes down Minnesota ban on permit to carry law for applicants under 21
- April 2nd, 2023: Star Tribune – Federal judge rules Minnesota’s age limit for carrying handguns unconstitutional
MINNESOTA GUN OWNERS CAUCUS TIMELINE & ACTIONS
The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus is a plaintiff in this case.
- June 7th, 2021: Complaint filed in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.
- June 25th, 2021: Response filed by the 3 County Sheriffs to the initial complaint
- August 13th, 2021: Response filed by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office on behalf of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
- August 23rd, 2021: Scheduling Order
- September 2021: Rule 26(f) Planning Meeting
- September 23rd, 2021:
- October 15th, 2021: Scheduling Order
- August 4th, 2022:
- Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment
- Plaintiff’s Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Summary Judgement
- Exhibit Index
- Exhibit A – MN Uniform Firearm Application Permit to Carry a Pistol
- Exhibit B – Declaration of Kristin Worth
- Exhibit C – Declaration of Austin Dye
- Exhibit D – Declaration of Axel Anderson
- Exhibit E – Declaration of Bryan Strawser
- Exhibit F – Declaration of Alan Gottlieb
- Exhibit G – Declaration of Brandon Combs
- Exhibit H – Transcript of Deposition of Dr. Saul Cornell
- Plaintiff’s Notice of Hearing
- Defendant John Harrington – Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment
- Defendant “Sheriffs” – Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment
- Giffords Law Center – Motion to enter as Amicus
- Giffords Law Center – Memorandum of Law in Support of Amicus Brief
- Giffords Law Center – Proposed Amicus Brief
- August 25th, 2022:
- September 8th, 2022:
- March 2023
- March 31st, 2023 – VICTORY AT DISTRICT COURT
- March 31st, 2023 – Emergency Motion by MN Attorney General to Stay Summary Judgement
- April 3rd, 2023
- April 5th, 2023
- April 24th, 2023
- May 17th, 2023
- May 22nd, 2023
- 8th Circuit sets briefing schedule as follows:
- State to file their briefing by July 11th, 2023
- Plaintiffs to file their response by August 11th, 2023
- 8th Circuit sets briefing schedule as follows:
- July 14th, 2023
- The State of Minnesota has filed their appellate brief with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
COUNSEL OF RECORD
The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus is represented in this case by Blair W. Nelson of Blair W. Nelson, Ltd. in Bemidji and David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson, and William V. Bergstrom of Cooper and Kirk PLLC in Washington, DC.
WANT TO SUPPORT OUR LEGAL & LITIGATION EFFORTS?
Our affiliated 501(c)(3), the Minnesota Gun Owners Support Fund, underwrites the majority of our legal action efforts.
You can also support our Support Fund through your purchases on Amazon through the Amazon Smile program. It takes just a few minutes to set up through our easy step-by-step guide.