DC Anti-Carry Law Overturned

Posted: July 28, 2014 by ShortTimer in Government, Guns, Second Amendment, Washington DC

From Alan Gura:

Justice never sleeps…. not even on a Saturday afternoon, when this opinion was just handed down.

In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny.

Of course, it’s only until DC can make a new law that’s only slightly less onerous.  But there is this for now:

Furthermore, this injunction prohibits the District from completely banning the carrying of handguns in public for self-defense by otherwise qualified non-residents based solely on the fact that they are not residents of the District.

From Gura:

In 2012, I won Moore v. Madigan, 702 F.3d 933 (7th Cir. 2012), which struck down Illinois’ total ban on the carrying of defensive handguns outside the home. With this decision in Palmer, the nation’s last explicit ban of the right to bear arms has bitten the dust. Obviously, the carrying of handguns for self-defense can be regulated. Exactly how is a topic of severe and serious debate, and courts should enforce constitutional limitations on such regulation should the government opt to regulate. But totally banning a right literally spelled out in the Bill of Rights isn’t going to fly.  My deepest thanks to the Second Amendment Foundation for making this victory possible and to my clients for hanging in there. Congratulations Americans, your capital is not a constitution-free zone.

Not sure I agree with Gura on the “obviously… can be regulated” part.  The Second Amendment is pretty clear that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Also not sure I agree with the “obviously… can be regulated” because once DC comes up with some new unconstitutionally absurd laws (mag limit of one round, no carrying within 10 miles of a school zone, etc.), this will have to be revisited.  That’s also why I’m more of an absolutist on 2A – as passively allowing regulation of a right has gotten us to the point where people can’t exercise the right at all, and where using the natural right of self-defense often gets the very people the law should protect (the law-abiding, peaceable but self-defending citizen) into hassles with statists who resent the authority the individual retains to self-defense.

The fact that an outright ban on a constitutional right even existed for any period of time in the nation’s capitol is hideously offensive, and it’s incredibly hypocritical for the seat of federal government to have utterly shat on the Bill of Rights for decades.

But all that aside, Gura got it overturned, and it’s a very good step in the right direction.  Kudos to him and to the Second Amendment Foundation and all those other 2A groups that gave their support.

Update:

According to Emily Miller, who’s been on this story for years:

DC police chief Lanier, using guidance from AG — grants full reciprocity for all open and concealed carry from others states.

Again:

Per DC Police Chief Lanier, the only gun arrests allowed now are DC residents with unregistered guns and non-residents who are prohibited under federal laws from possessing firearms. Everyone else is in the clear.

Comments
  1. mcmorrowpc says:

    Inch by inch. the Judicial Branch is coming to its senses.

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