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Published On: Thu, Oct 5th, 2017

Court strikes down DC ‘common sense’ gun carry law

The attorney general of Washington, D.C., confirmed Thursday that the city would not appeal to the Supreme Court a federal appeals court decision striking down a provision in its strict gun-carry law.

A provision in the city’s gun-carry law that allowed government officials to deny permits to anyone they did not believe had a “good reason” to have one was declared unconstitutional by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in July. The court argued that the city’s law, which has produced only 126 permits through July 2017, is designed with the intention of denying most normal citizens the ability to carry a gun.

gavel judge court case ruling

photo by Okan Caliskan via Pixabay

“We are bound to leave the District as much space to regulate as the Constitution allows—but no more. Just so, our opinion does little more than trace the boundaries laid in 1791 and flagged in Heller I,” Judge Thomas Griffith wrote for the 2-1 majority in the case. “And the resulting decision rests on a rule so narrow that good-reason laws seem almost uniquely designed to defy it: that the law-abiding citizen’s right to bear common arms must enable the typical citizen to carry a gun.”

“Public safety is, and has always been, my paramount concern,” Attorney General Karl Racine said in a statement. “I continue to believe the District’s ‘good reason’ requirement is a common-sense, and constitutional, gun regulation. However, we must reckon with the fact that an adverse decision by the Supreme Court could have wide-ranging negative effects not just on District residents, but on the country as a whole.”

Racine said he made the decision after consulting with elected officials in the city.

“In consultation with Mayor Bowser, Chairman Mendelson, Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Allen and multiple stakeholders, and after careful consideration, we reached consensus that abiding by the D.C. Circuit’s ruling was the wisest course of action to protect public safety in the District and nationwide,” he said. “Therefore, I have decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court.”

“We believe the city was under intense pressure to take the hit and not appeal the ruling by the U.S. District Court of Appeals,” Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, a plaintiff in the case against the city, told the Washington Free Beacon. “If the District had lost the case before the High Court, it would have dealt a fatal blow to similar requirements in California, New Jersey, Maryland, and New York, for example, and that prospect had anti-gun politicians in those states quaking in their shoes.”

Gottlieb said the decision means circuit-level federal courts are now split on the question of “good reason” clauses, and that is likely to draw attention from the Supreme Court, eventually.

“However, this decision opens the gate farther to an inevitable High Court confrontation because there are now conflicting opinions on concealed carry from the different circuit courts,” he said. “Common sense says that the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause will not allow that conflict to continue.”

City’s police chief, Peter Newsham, declined Thursday to speculate about how many people would apply for a concealed carry permit now that the “good reason” provision has been struck down. A total of 425 people previously denied concealed carry permits as a result of the “good reason” requirement will have to submit an updated application.

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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