Judge Voids D.C. Concealed Weapon Permit Law; Case Could Go To High Court


Ten months after striking down Washington, D.C.’s long-standing ban on carrying firearms in public as unconstitutional, a federal judge has ordered the city to halt enforcing a key provision of the gun-permitting system it adopted in response, the Washington Post reports. District's carry legislation remains among the nation’s strictest, requiring applicants to state good reason to carry a weapon in order to obtain a permit from police, matching laws in Maryland, New Jersey and New York. U.S. District Judge Frederick Scullin said that condition, known as the “good reason/proper reason” requirement, “impinges on Plaintiffs' Second Amendment right to bear arms,” because it fails to target dangerous people or specifically how or where individuals carry weapons.

“The issue is whether this requirement, no matter how well intended, violates the Second Amendment,” Scullin wrote. The ruling runs counter to some federal appellate decisions and guts a law that allows city residents who own properly registered handguns, as well as nonresidents with a state carry license, to apply for a permit to bear a concealed weapon in the District. WAMU radio reported that as of late January, 66 people had applied for concealed-weapons permits. Police had granted requests by eight people and denied 11 others. UCLA law professor Adam Winkler said there is a good chance that Scullin's decision will be overturned on appeal. However, he said, the Supreme Court has not yet decided whether the Second Amendment requires cities such as the District to allow guns in public, or what kind of permitting is permissible. “The D.C. case could be the next Second Amendment case in the Supreme Court,” he said.

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