Reacting to economics professor emeritus Daniel Hamermesh’s decision to resign in protest of the University of Texas’ forthcoming campus carry compliance, Students for Concealed Carry’s presser pointed out the following: “Speaking to the unusual size (as many as 500 students) of Hamermesh’s annual class, his letter notes, ‘In some semesters these groups of 18-year-olds constituted the largest single course on campus.’ This prompted Antonia Okafor, Southwest director for Students for Concealed Carry, to ask, ‘Why is Professor Hamermesh worried that allowing CHL holders to carry guns on campus will increase his chances of being shot by students who are too young to obtain a CHL?'” Which raises the question . . .

Should the age for concealed carry be lowered to 18? Eighteen-year-olds are legal adults. They can vote and serve in the military. Equally, they can drive a car, a practice which accounts for far more homicides than firearms. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that “Each year an estimated 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol­ related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.”

Also worth noting, the right to keep and bear arms is a Constitutionally protected right. As such it is not subject to arguments of social utility or the democratic process. In theory. In practice, 18-year-old college students have the same need for personal self-defense as 21-year-old college students. So why not “allow” them the best tool for the job?

140 Responses to Question of the Day: Should We Lower the Age of Concealed Carry to 18?

    • “Absolutely!!”

      3 days ago, 18 year-old Steven Jones went to frat party and was asked to leave. (Translation: He was thrown out on his ass.)

      Jones took umbrage at this (as youth are often wont to do) and went back to his vehicle and retrieved a handgun. He sought out the individual that offended him and shot him dead and shot and wounded several of his companions.

      Now, maturity depends entirely on the individual. There are 10 year-olds I would trust with a gun and there are some people I wouldn’t trust with a gun at any age.

      I’m inclined to leave the dividing line at 21 years.

      • Would three years really have made that much of a difference? Someone who is willing to murder and maim people for being thrown out of a party is a sociopath, regardless of age.

        • The point here that is missed is that the SOCIOPATH was the only one there with a gun. Certainly guns and alcohol do not mix and beer is the requisite starter for a frat party, but there they all were, unarmed and helpless in the face of a deranged drunk.

        • Yes, three years makes a huge difference as does the difference in maturity between someone who is 21 as opposed to someone who is 50.
          Why do you think all these mass murderers are all theses stupid f—– immature kids?

          So my answer to 18 year olds carrying concealed is not just no, but hell f—- no!

        • Mark Lloyd?

          Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer, Umpqua Community College shooter, age 26

          Dylann Roof, Charleston church shooter, age 21

          Elliot Rodger, Isla Vista shooter, age 22

          John Zawahri, Santa Monica College shooter, age 23

          James Holmes, Batman movie shooter, age 24

          Jared Lee Loughner, Gabbie Giffords/Tuscon shooter, age 22

          Even Adam Lanza, Sandy Hook shooter, age 20, was only four months shy of his 21st birthday. Think he would’ve been cured and gotten his [stuff] together by springtime? C’mon.

          Crazy is crazy and killers are killers, regardless the age. The issue here is judgment, which does indeed vary by age, and which age we need to establish as suitable for responsible concealed carry.

          Arguing against lowering that age for regular people, on the basis of the existence of murderous sociopaths (many of the most infamous of whom are 21 or over) is simply off base and irrelevant.

        • Yeah I agree, adding 3 years to the age of maturity isn’t going to help with murder. If at 18 you mind immediately jumps to the idea that it’s OK to murder someone over a stupid situation then I see no reason to think that your train of thought would be any different st 21. Normal people don’t actually see murder as an option and so our brains don’t even consider it.

      • Geoff, by some accounts the frat boys continued the battle onto the sidewalk. Your narrative may be accurate, or it may be incomplete. At this point, we don’t know. And even when we are told what happened, we will only know what we’ve been told. So citing this case as an argument for restricting firearms may be misplaced. And even if your version is full and complete, it’s just one case.

        There are lots of 18 y.o. legal carriers. They don’t seem to be more or less irresponsible than any other legal carriers.

        • Fair enough criticism.

          In my opinion, I’m still more comfortable leaving it at 21.

          Because I remember all to well my lack of maturity at that age.

          My .02 and worth every penny…

          🙂

      • Well, thank God we’re able to charge Jones with underage purchase or possession in addition to murder and attempted murder. He might have shot those people, otherwise (derp).

      • Old enough to vote , old enough to serve in military , old enough to receive the benefits of the Constitution that they vote and serve to defend , period .

        • “Also worth noting, the right to keep and bear arms is a Constitutionally protected right. As such it is not subject to arguments of social utility or the democratic process.”

          And this also gets no mention in the discussion, ever:

          “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” – can anyone point to those 27 words and show me where they include an age limitation in the definition of “the people”?

          I know there are ages mentioned in the federal legislation defining the militia, but we and SCOTUS have gone to a lot of trouble pointing out that the prefatory clause of the 2A is NOT the operating clause.

      • Why should one persons stupidity/propensity for rage fueled murder give the govt the go ahead to infringe on anyone elses rights? It shouldnt. Let every man be accountable for his own actions.

      • Geoff;

        Most “mass shooters” are males between the ages of 18-25… exactly the time that schizophrenia tends to kick in for males. Would you be ok with pushing back firearm ownership for males until after 25?

        • Yes.
          There are plenty of years ahead of a 25 year old to carry. But none ahead if they are still too immature to make that much needed decision while under stress.
          Its the same problem with a drivers license. Most of your accidents due to misjudgement are by 16-20 year olds.

          Its all a risk assessment, are you willing to accept the accidents and deaths for the lives saved?
          Understandably that is the entire gun debate in a nut shell but statistically, you’re on the losing end when dealing with youth because of the immaturity and raging hormones.
          That’s why society weens them into adulthood, if we just said “ok, 18 you get to do everything!”
          then youth would be hit with a wall, yesterday I couldn’t do anything, today, freedom.
          For the masses, it would result in drinking, driving, firearms, tobacco, etc.. all being learned at the same time. bad mix.

          I just had a talk with an 18 year old yesterday who left his dads revolver in a belt holster with ammo clipped in the belt, knee high on a book shelf. There are kids all through the house (his uncles grandkids), it never donned on him that one of the kids might find it (2 feet from the ground).

          THAT!!! Is inexperienced youth, they are already slammed with school, work, relationships, friends, hormones, stress. They don’t have their shit in gear.
          Not saying they aren’t mature enough to understand, its just bad timing.

        • Josh – two words – “Darwin Awards”.

          Why is it the responsibility of society to ensure that every damned fool ever born gets to grow to maturity under the protective wing of the nanny state while the rest of the people who are more responsible for themselves and others are left to be the fool’s defenseless victims?

          Another two: 1) Conduct yourself in a reasonable and survivable manner (I know, accidents happen), which the majority of people do for the most part, or 2) Prepare to die at the hands of Mother Nature or more responsible people who will make you pay dearly for endangering them.

          That is the essence of true gun control – have a gun, control it, and use it to stop those sociopaths, psychopaths and dumb fvcks who want to hurt you. The government can’t and won’t do that and is apparently more geared toward protecting the miscreants.

        • Whatever the age is, it should be the same as for voting, drinking, voluntarily joining and/or being drafted into the military etc.

          If you’re fine with all these activities being restricted until 25, then okay.

      • Then raise the age to vote, be drafted, sign a contract, incur debt, etc to 21 as well.

        Then, in 50 years, raise it to 25.

        Then 30.

        All the while, keep complaining about “man-children”.

        No, full rights for adults. That’s 18.

        • Bingo. I don’t care what the age is, but I’m sick of having multiple government yard sticks that state when I’m an adult. Pick one, and ALL adult rights should come with it.

      • @Geoff PR
        You are using the same argument as the anti gunners. Because some people can not control their actions, everyone should be punished. If you outlaw carry for those under 21 years old then only the bad people under 21 years old will carry.

      • How would allowing 18 year olds the ability to legally carry a hand gun have changed the outcome of this homicide at a frat party? The killer was already in possession of a handgun illegally.

    • I don’t think it makes that much of a difference between an 18 and 21 year old espetially when it comes to guns. Guns don’t kill people it is those F$(%ing people who are so irresponsible and go and shoot people or just plain use it in the wrong way.

  1. I’m really torn about this one. On one hand, you’re absolutely right about constitutional rights. On the other hand…. Teenagers are assholes. I’m not sure I would trust 18 year old me with a handgun and I was better than many of my peers.

        • Would the shooter in this story, even drunk and humiliated, have returned to shoot the party up if he knew he would be confronted by one or more guns as soon as he showed his weapon? Maybe, drunk people do stupid things, but it is one more example of where a “Gun Free Zone” is just a target rich environment to people intent on mayhem.

    • We could save tens of thousands of people every year and crush crime if we just simply didn’t apply the 4th or 5th amendments to anybody under age 21. They’re too immature and irrational to handle their own affairs, so the government should be able to peak in on their iphones and facebook accounts on request and search their apartments for drugs and gang affiliations.

      Nobody should be okay with suspending 4th or 5th amendment rights even though it would save tons more people, but for some reason we apply that logic to the 2nd Amendment.

      How about we give freedom a chance?

    • But you trust them to vote? If you want to make this country safer, take away their right to vote.

      Then again, not. An 18yo can own property, pay bills and hold down a job. A man is expected to serve if called up. Those interests alone demand the right to vote. If young people are assholes, it’s our retarded system of adolescence (and I use retarded in the non-perjorative sense). Parents and schools are preparing teens for everything but responsible adulthood.

        • “The single greatest reason that there are so many murders today by all ages is no belief in or fear of consequences after death.”

          The single greatest reason that there are so many terrorist acts committed today by all ages is belief in milk and honey and 72 houris after death. FIFY

          Religion comes in all flavors and the concern over what may or may not happen after you die has been the proximal cause of a great many atrocities over the centuries. Quoting YOUR religious beliefs as a cure-all for evil or stupid actions ignores the other 7 billion or so people on Earth who disagree with you.

          “One man’s religion is another man’s belly laugh.” – Robert A. Heinlein

        • It’s actually more like a 100 year low now. In 2014, the national murder rate was 4.5/100k. The previous low was in 1962-63, 4.6/100k. And you have to go further back, all the way to WW1, to see rates lower than that (and even then it’s not clear if they actually were, or they just couldn’t keep track of them as well).

        • I was referring mainly to killings in general , on a gun blog , and generally referring to recent history as in the last 50 or so years and I find it hard to believe that there are less murders committed today than 100 years ago , but I have been known to be wrong more times than not so maybe I’m just reflecting my own personal feelings about things because I can say with little hesitation that if I did not believe I would have to answer for my poor behavior after I succumb to the laws of nature I would probably be dropping people around me like flies for being self centered careless aholes . Even the retarded order taker at Wendy’s would be in peril and the jerks that drive like they are the Gods of the highway would get a friendly driveby too .

    • So just because you were irresponsible at 18 means I can’t carry at 18? I’m 18 now and would love to be able to carry and am very responsible. Also remember you go and take rights away from an age group because they are deemed not responsible enough but there are some 16 year olds who are more responsible that some 60 year olds. How about you tell all the military men and women who are under 21 to stop serving because they aren’t responsible enough.

      • I have seen how young members of our military act. Invoking their general maturity level as a defense for lowering concealed carry ages is probably very unwise.

      • If you knew how restricted things are outside of an active AOR you wouldn’t cite the US Armed Forces as an example of firearms rights. It’s not Call of Duty under Uncle Sam.

    • Just because you don’t trust yourself, doesn’t mean the rest of us were as dumb as you. You’re using the same argument as the anti-gunners.

      • This is more of a pragmatic vs logical argument. The logical answer is that if you are an adult at 18 and adults can carry guns, then yes you should be legally allowed to carry. The pragmatic answer is to ask: will the overall cause of extending 2a rights be helped or hindered in the long run by allowing teenagers to carry? While I would deeply like to believe that it would, experience tells me it would give the antis way more ammo to use against us. Just the headline “the NRA wants high school students to carry handguns” is borderline indefensible to even moderately pro gun or gun neutral people. It’s simply a bridge too far.

        • The logical answer, actually, that tying intellectual maturity to physiological age is a very shoddy approach to begin with. Ideally, we should have some kind of exam for that – if you can (and want to) pass it at 12, congratulations, you’re an adult. If you can’t pass it at 30, too bad.

  2. Yes, if you are old enough to vote, join the military, go to war, and die for this country than you are old enough to carry concealed.

  3. That’s a thorny one… You are of course right about social utility, et al. Maybe small bites like the antis employ. Active duty military as a seemingly no-brainer place to start?

    • Maine’s governor refused to sign the new Constitutional Carry law, which restricted permitless carry to those over 21, without the following inclusion:

      If a person is 18 years of age or older, and is on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard, or has been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces or the National Guard, and is not otherwise prohibited from carrying a firearm, the person may carry a concealed handgun.

  4. It seems odd that the voting age and military service age occur before many other federal rights are granted. We can debate whether 18 is too young for handguns and voting, but whatever the age where you can carry arms for your country is, that should be the age when you can carry arms at home.

    • Being able to serve in the military and actually serving are two very different things. And how does this affect people who are too old to enlist aren’t able to serve in the military?

      “Military age” shouldn’t mean a thing. Service in the military, however, is a horse of a different color.

      • “Military age” should absolutely mean a thing, because this is the age at which the state can force you to fight for it if needed (via draft). At the very least, this ties directly to the right to vote – if you are subject to the draft, it’s only reasonable that you should have the right to vote in elections that may well determine whether you’ll end up being drafted.

    • Because the government is more interested in having warm bodies to send to foreign countries than it is about preserving liberty at home.

    • Bingo!

      That’s your root of the problem, there.

      As a society we have been obsessed with reducing the risks that our children are exposed to and have denied them the chance to make mistakes and grow as members of the community. I learned a lot from all the stupid dangerous krap I did growing up and it was a big part of, ultimately, making me a responsible adult.

      You nailed it on the head mister!

  5. We seem to have worked out way into a “two stage” adulthood in America legally speaking.

    At 18, you are (supposedly) a full fledged adult. You can own property, view porn, engage in an kind of legal foray you wish, be tried as an adult for a crime, drive, smoke tobacco, you can vote (the highest privilege of adulthood) and you can join the military (where you can carry “assault weapons” all day long in in a war zone).

    But then, we (for whatever reason) reserve certain rights until you turn 21, consuming alcohol and carrying a sidearm being the prominent two that come to mind. So for three years, you’re an adult, but not really.

    I’m aware they allowed 18 year-old adults to drink for a while back in the day, but it “didn’t work” whatever that means, and they (mistakenly) repealed it.

    Yes, we should allow 18 year old adults to carry, if only to be consistent with our definition of what an adult actually is.

      • And never fear! The politicians are probably already working on stage four of weening the populace from childhood to some quasi-state of adulthood, but all the while dependent on the nanny state.

    • ^This.

      This two-tier adulthood thing has got to go. You are a legal adult at 18, or you aren’t. It shouldn’t be you are and adult except for these couple of things.

      • Although not something I support, you must claim your parents income when applying for Federal Aid for college until 23, I think.

  6. That’s a bit of a trick question, at least from my thought process.

    Requiring a permit to carry a firearm means that carrying a firearm is illegal. That is immoral. Changing the age at which you can obtain a permit to carry a firearm does not change the immorality. We should get rid of “carrying a firearm is illegal” everywhere in the world, not just the country.

    How do we go about doing that? One could make a good case for incrementally regaining freedom, such as lowering the age at which permits to carry can be issued.

  7. Yes. Many states are 18.

    NH has no age minimum in law.
    SD, ND, CA, AL, ME, IN, and MT are 18.

    CO, WY, ID, and Guam are May issue for 18-20

    MO is 19

  8. How sad it is that a young man or woman can volunteer to serve, and die for their country but are denied the taste of a beer. Absolutely yes. You either are or are not a citizen. But I believe that citizenship should be earned. Minimum mandatory service should be required prior to attaining full citizenship.

  9. Yes Virginia, there really are bad guys. And they like young girls. My daughter just turned 18. She is both mature and firearms competent. No CHP for her until 21. No purchasing a handgun for her until 21. No purchasing hand gun ammo for her until 21. But she can own a handgun. She can possess handgun ammo. And she can open carry. Yes, Virginia, it’s really that stupid.

  10. We already do in Texas. If the individual is active duty or reserve or guard they can legally get a CHL at 18. Should we lower it to 18 for the rest? In my opinion, not till society starts going back to core values and honor. I know several 18 year olds that are better grounded than a lot of adults. Unfortunately they seem to be the exception, not the rule.

  11. At the end of the day there’s little reason to not extend CCW rights to 18 year old people. We all know from hard data where the ‘problems’ with gun violence. And it’s not people who go through the trouble to get certified and permuted to carry.

    Of course that also begs questions about constitutional carry… but that’ll have to be examined separately.

  12. As one of said eighteen year old college students, I support lowering the age. Of course, I would prefer completely constitutional carry, but…

    Baby steps.

  13. Arkansas has just lowered the concealed carry age to 18 to any member of military, active or previously active and on good standing.

  14. If one can legally be an adult, signing a contract to fight and die for your country, one should be able to carry concealed. I also am of the opinion that alcohol should be purchasable at 18 as well.

  15. I think it is but ONE thing that should be 18… We have a dysfunctional society that in some ways want Children to be CHILDREN forever. And other ways wants to count them as adults… RIGHT NOW….

    Obama care? stay on parents Insurance until 26… 26????? I was out of the military 4 years, had a wife and a kid.

    21 to drink (they always talk about EVERY OTHER WESTERN COUNTRY… but not in this context.

    18 to vote. Because of vietnam and the draft. that really changed the age of majority

    18 to buy a gun in most places (but take illinois… 18 for long gun, 21 for handgun)? WTH

    18 to sign up for the military or sign binding legal contracts…

    Its insane. If you can vote for public office holders, own land, enter into contracts… You are an adult. I can get 500K in debt or sign up for the military but cant buy a gun? or cary? or buy a beer… oh but I can stay on mom’s insurance….

    This is what you get when politicians run the world.

      • From a dealer. States also have laws… Like in Illinois you can OWN a handgun before 21. Other states outlaw handguns entirely before 21, lets not blame the CGA for everything.

  16. If an 18 year old carries a firearm without a permit he’s treated as an adult. In my state that’s an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by a year in prison. Why treat someone as a child if they wish to obey the law and punish them as adults if they break the law? While your at it, lower the drinking age to 18 and raise the voting age to 35.

  17. I get into this age argument every time Glenn Reynolds advocates lowering the drinking age. All age requirements are arbitrary. Why not 16? 14? any age at all? What happens is that you end up painting yourself into a corner and supporting NAMBLA. Pick an age and say because.

    • Because there must be an age of majority /Age of adulthood. Historically all societies have had them (back to tribes in africa) An Age at which your society deems you an adult, with all of the privileges AND responsibilities that come along with it.

      You cannot make a logical argument that ALL age limits are completely arbitrary (this means you can see creating a law keeping a 10 year old from buy whiskey legally). But you can make the argument that you can have a legal age at which you are considered an adult for ALL legal purposes.

      What we have today is simply ridiculous.

      • I think the problem today is that we’ve shirked all the actual responsibilities and demonized most of what it means to reach manhood. Bring back compulsory local militia service, and becoming a man might be worth something again.

      • “Legal age” should be defined as whether one pays taxes each year. Though in most cases involving rights, I’d argue against the need to define an age or group. Rights extend to all citizens from birth to death.

        • I absolutely agree with tying voting to paying of taxes but I would find those jobs that most people do not want to do , immigrant type labor , Nationalize them , and force all able bodied unemployed to work them , and pay taxes on those wages . Work for government jobs . There are some things that we could nationalize and I wouldn’t have a problem with it and I am very conservative lent .

  18. ‘Why is Professor Hamermesh worried that allowing CHL holders to carry guns on campus will increase his chances of being shot by students who are too young to obtain a CHL?’”

    Apparently Prof. Hamermesh lacks the capacity for reason.

  19. Should a person be able to obtain a concealed carry license when they turn 18 years old? Why not? People at age 16 can carry concealed in Vermont with no license and people at age 18 can acquire concealed carry licenses in something like 8 to 12 states. And people can carry openly without a license in several more states. That means that people can be legally armed in public, at the age of 18, in something like half the states in the United States. How many of these armed 18 year old people have illegally harmed someone? Answer: I cannot recall a single instance. The point is, it is so uncommon that it does NOT warrant prohibiting 18 year olds from acquiring licenses … or even better carrying under the protection of the United States Constitution without any license necessary.

    • That sounds about right. The initial list I came up with had 13 state at under-21. Alaska appears to have raised theirs to 21 since that list was compiled, or was an error to start with.

      Most of those I checked on state sites confirm 18 years old. So I’ll go along with saying approximately a dozen states allow permitting at age 18 outright.

      Some states have special cases for certain 18 year old applicants. Iowa’ s standard permit age is 21, but they’ll allow 18 for a “professional” license, meaning if you’re in the security business in some capacity. Even Texas will allow a license at 18, providing you’re active or separated military.

  20. Nope. Back in the day teenagers fought in early US wars, chances are the maturity level was higher as well, since in daily living (non war related) death was a constant companion. Back then you grew up quick.

    Today’s non military youth have an attention and decision making level of a gnat.

  21. Here is a twist. In my home state, an 18 year old cannot see a psychiatrist without parental permission and a signed consent to treat. (In the mass of forms parents sign when your kids goes to college is a consent to be seen by campus counseling services. )
    One cannot see a psychiatrist on one’s own until the age of 21. So what about a 20 year old soldier at Fort Bragg that doesn’t want to see a government shrink on base? They have to get permission from their parents. If the parents are no longer alive he needs a legal guardian to sign.

  22. Shall not be infringed. Apply the same test for the rest of the bill of rights. Any waffling is making the case for the antis, and ultimately for a monarchy.

  23. The problem is lack of training. Students in highschool should be trained on the use and responsibility of using firearms. We already teach them civics, how to vote and how to drive.

  24. As an 18 year old I definitely say 18 year olds should be able to carry. In PA you can open carry at 18 permitless but without a permit you cannot have a unloaded handgun in the car unless you are going to or from gun range, shop, or other similar place making open carry without a permit pretty much illegal unless you can walk places which I can’t. As to responsibility I am much more responsible than many older people and so are some other 18 year olds. Also the government tries to make teens less responsible. Many states are changing from 16 to 17 to drive and labor laws are crazy restrictive at least in PA and without these simple things to help teach responsibility people will never learn it. Also many 18 year olds I know don’t care about carrying a handgun so its not like every single 18 year old will instantly be armed.

    • Also the government tries to make teens less responsible.

      That’s a very perspicacious statement. The G does try to make teens less responsible to keep teens more dependent on government. That’s the gaff, the hook. And once the G gets that hook into you, my friend, it pretty much owns you.

  25. The fact is 18 year olds can vote and new/young voters lean to the Left politically…

    Here is an idea: Allow them to express their right to keep and bear arms through concealed carry at the age of 18. When their friends, teachers, and colleges berate them for doing so you will see an emergence of younger sheepdogs who can influence the younger generation.

    You can’t expect a teenager to understand the impact of anti-2A politics if they have no buy in. Sure they want more opportunities, better wages for entry level positions, and inexpensive education options because it affects them directly.

    Put a gun in their hands and let them observe how distasteful the anti-2A liberal agenda really is. Nothing will drive the younger generation to the Right faster than a bunch of Leftists trying to take something away from them.

  26. At age 18 you should be issued a “learner’s permit.” Then you get to carry during daylight hours while being directly supervised by an adult with an “unrestricted” permit. You may only carry one round of .22. When you turn 19, the “curfew” is moved to 11:00 p.m. and you can carry up to .380/.38…6 rounds max. When you get to 21, the curfew goes away, you can carry without supervision, and you can carry whatever caliber/capacity you want. Now of course this is subject to “sensible” restrictions: a full background investigation, $100k in liability insurance, random drug testing, battery of psychological tests, eyesight test, hearing test, manual dexterity test, $1000 annual “fee” to offset society’s cost of “gun violence,” fingerprinting, DNA swab, hernia check, and you must be able to run a mile under 5 minutes while juggling no fewer than 4 tennis balls. Just kidding.

    Really, though, in my view, there is an equal or greater danger to the 18-year-old than to the community. If he can’t handle the responsibility and understand the legal requirements of using deadly force (which can be complex to say the least), then he may ruin his life in a moment of poor judgment (i.e.: minimum mandatory sentencing, 10/20/Life, etc…). Having said that, however, I say treat him like any other adult and leave it up to him to decide.

  27. If the federal say 18 for open carry and 21 for hiding then yes to 18 all.
    It s an discrimination of state law and the liberty of an state if the fed set this mandatory.

  28. Damn sure should put the voting age back to 21 where the much smarter guys of 1787 set it, Since the progtards lowered the age to 18 the kiddies have demonstrated time after time too dumb to exercise the franchise by largely voting dem (as it was intended).

  29. I have seen it first hand being an educator to secondary students. 10th grade 15-17 seemed to be a jumping off point for young males to either accept responsibility of adult hood or reject it. Have long said that after 9th grade students should be able to choose from college/college prep, trade/vocational school or the military. Time for them to grow up.

  30. Wrote a paper about this a million years ago – Everything should be 18. Drivers license, buy alcohol, carry concealed, everything. You’re either an adult (legally) or you’re not, distribution of rights from 16-18-21-25 is stupid.

    • That’s dumb. Drinking should be 16, and driving 21.

      It’s easier to control drivers licenses and insurance then it is to control who can acquire booze.

      Also voting at 21, because dumb lefty kids.

  31. Having the CC age generally be 21 has a couple of benefits:

    1) By age 21, most of the folks that you wouldn’t want carrying will have racked up at least one felony conviction. We’ve all noted how CCers, as a statistical group, are incredibly law-abiding. Part of that is that many of the non-law abiding have been removed from that group by a criminal history which makes obtaining a CC impossible. Having the age at 21 gives them a couple more years to bogart themselves.

    2) Having the age at 21 makes the campus carry argument stronger – since obviously we’re not talking about those idiot kids in the junior dorm.

  32. I can believe all the gun control supporters on here. Where are all the crimes caused teenagers carrying in states that set the age at 18?

    In effort to bring the logic full circle, the Border Patrol hires at 18 (and Border Patrol Agents can carry on commercial aircraft). Perhaps to those wanting the age to be 21, let’s raise that bar higher, become a Border Patrol Agent or turn in your guns, because you don’t need them…

    And any reason you can come up with also applies to people under 21…

  33. You may correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t VT have concealed or open carry for anyone not disqualified who is 16 or older? And hasn’t it been that way since this country was founded? So what’s age got to do with it? It should be that way in every state!

  34. I’m divided on this subject because I equally understand each point of view. One might say that it should stay at 21 because those under that age generally have a lack of maturity and some might say that it should be raised because at 21 you still don’t have the maturity of a 30 year old or so. Others think that it should be lowered to 18 because there should be no age limit on personal defense. I’m not saying any of these opinions are mine but I can understand both sides with the exception of raising the age limit. I feel 21 is an appropriate age to start carrying but I also feel that those who are competent and mature should be able to carry if they happen to be under 21.

  35. You guys are concerned about the wrong things in life we have so many soldiers homeless and afraid of what is going on around them all I hear is people bitch and complain if the frat boy wasn’t the only one with a gun we wouldn’t this problem if you gave a gun to an 18 year old with a clean back round you would not have so many problems and can deal with military issue that we have

  36. Yes…

    And lower the age to buy a handgun and handgun ammo to 18,
    It suck’s to need a parent there just to handle a handgun or buy the ammo!

    At 19 i’d like to be-able to handle and/or buy them on my own like i can long guns.

  37. Right now we have a nice buffer of three years from when they first become responsible adults to when they qualify for a carry permit. That is three years for them to screw up and have it stick to a permanent record (not get swept under the rug for all but the most serious offenses). I am of the opinion that if people can stay out of serious legal trouble for three years, they are probably the type that will be responsible enough to carry a handgun in public.
    I do, however, think that people should be able to own a handgun at the age of 18.

  38. You’re either an adult or not. If you are then you should get all rights due an adult under the constitution.

    I’m a whole lot older than 18 but my rights are being denied to me simply based on my zip code. Enough denying rights because of the whims of pols or mob opinion.

    You don’t want an 18 yo to have a concealed gun? What’s the word the butt hurt use here all the time? Statist.

  39. MEH…unlike most of you I don’t have an EZ answer. My son carried a gun in the military at 18.Responsibly. My other 3 sons I still don’t trust- especially the 38 year old. I had a wife and a kid at 20-damn right I was an adult. I had to be. I know I could have handled it. I can’t speak for anyone else…

    • It’s simply the fact that there are people at 30, 40, or 50 who shouldn’t even own a gun. That is not for government to decide. And if such a person misuses it, then they can be handled accordingly.

  40. I am kind of surprised by some of the comments here. You have seemingly pro-gunners using the same arguments against 18 year Olds carrying that the anti-gunners use to try and limit who should have the right to carry. “I don’t trust those darn pesky kids so I don’t think they should be allowed to carry!” How is that any different from saying “I don’t trust blacks so I don’t think they should have guns” or “I don’t trust Muslims so I think they shouldn’t be allowed to have guns.” It’s the same principle of putting a blanket stigma on a certain group of people and it’s f’n wrong! America is about individual rights people! I would say the overwhelming majority of 18-20 year olds who would take the time to go through the process of getting a CHL are the responsible type anyway just like the rest of the concealed carry population. I don’t know about the rest of the country but here in Louisiana you can open carry a handgun at 18 anyway. So what’s the fuss? You are legally an adult at 18. No matter how you look this should mean full unadulterated constitutional rights. Got a problem with it? Carry an extra mag at your local mall or movie theater if the kiddies scare you.

    -End rant

  41. As a married nineteen year old who votes and just bought a house, I feel incredibly shafted that TECHNICALLY, even though I am a citizen of the U.S. and am an adult, I’m not allowed to defend myself with a concealed firearm. That being said, I do live in an open carry state-and I do open carry, pretty much everywhere I go. If I’m put through the same requirements as 21 year olds to get a CCL, why shouldn’t I be able to conceal?? The beer-swill in frat boys aren’t the kind of young people who would put the time and effort into the paperwork, anyway.

  42. A curious trend I’ve seen in my relatively short life is how older people who were not well behaved in their youth are especially suspicious towards other young individuals.

    I’m absolutely for lowering the age required for concealed carry to 18. I have lived on my own for almost three years in various apartments in Tampa while attending college, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve considered carrying without a license. I’ve been in situations where myself and others close to me were in danger and I want to have an option in case things go south. I’m not ready to trust a criminal with my life.

    Campus carry needs to be addressed as well. Every year it returns to the table in my state only to die at the hands of an irresponsible individual (last year by someone who refused to schedule it for hearing in the Judiciary Committee, despite it blowing through all previous reviews with excellent reception).

  43. Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it say…

    These rights, god-given or self-realized, only apply to you upon turning 21.

    If 18 is old enough to sign up for military service (just being kicked outta the house after high school is over) and/or going to college (community or university), then 18 is old enough for the bearing of any arms, which has now been shortened to the term CARRY. CONCEALED OR OPEN CARRY for all legal adults.

    But! Then the drinking age should be 18, too.

    You are either a full legal adult, or not.

    • But, even the purchase of firearms, especially handguns, should be lowered to 18 as well, ditto with ammunition.

      If you guys want yer papers please permits, don’t hold your breath on this one for 18 year olds.

      Restore our rights, for all citizens of legal age.

      #ForTheRepublic

  44. Yes. This shouldn’t even be up for debate. Either you’re an adult citizen or you’re not. If you have the responsibilities of an adult citizen you should not be denied the rights of one. A right delayed is a right denied. We should not be denying people their rights for three years. It is an injustice.

  45. I am concerned by the rationale for saying not to lower CC to 18. I’ve been carrying since I was 18 in alabama. In alabama you can oc without a permit at 18 including in your car and can get your permit in as long a 4 wweks from your 18th birthday.The multiple yard sticks for adulthood are getting out of hand, in AL I can but a handgun privately and be permitted to carry it but have to be 19 before you can buy smokes at the gas station. At some point we need to stop trying to look out for other so much as making people take responsibilities for the actions that they make.

  46. Having read through at least most of the posts on this rather lengthy thread, I’m going to eschew my usual long-winded responses and get to the point: There was a time in our fairly recent history when we didn’t have laws which attempted to determine who could and who could not carry or own a gun. Simply put, we should return to those values. They worked perfectly well in earlier times and they will work quite well in modern times. It’s funny how things sort of work themselves out all by themselves once you give them a chance.

  47. The State has no right to limit the age of a gun owner! now there are Mature people and there are not mature people, but to put a age on it is ridiculous. it should be up to the parent on when a Child is ready to be an Adult.

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