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Published On: Wed, May 18th, 2016

Judge strikes down DC gun ban, open carry for self-defense is at ‘core of the Second Amendment’

A Washington, DC judge has struck down a key part of the capital’s ban on concealed firearms, confirming Second Amendment supporters’ claim that the restriction is an infringement on their rights.

In his 46-page ruling, Judge Richard J. Leon wrote that “law-abiding responsible citizens to carry arms in public for the purpose of self-defense does indeed lie at the core of the Second Amendment.”

Image/Video Screen Shot

Image/Video Screen Shot

Therefore, the concealed-carry permitting system that DC imposed in 2014 likely violated the Constitution, Leon said, calling the measure “understandable, but overly zealous.”

Police can no longer ask for “a good reason” when a person requests a concealed-carry permit. Until now, DC police would only approve permits for people who had a “good reason to fear injury” or those whose jobs involve high risk, like routinely transporting large amounts of cash.

“The need for self-defense is, of course, greater outside the home than it is within it,” the judge agreed.

Robert Marus, a spokesman for the District of Columbia’s attorney general’s office, predicted that Judge Leon’s ruling was “very likely” to be overturned on appeal, meaning that the District would be able to “go back to enforcing our law.”

The US capital’s gun law has long been the subject of a legal dispute.

Judge Leon’s ruling contradicts a decision from US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who ruled that public safety takes priority over individual rights because concealed weapons pose “a potential risk to others – carriers and non-carriers alike.”

President Obama bypassed Congress in January by signing an executive order expanding background checks for those buying guns and imposing other restrictions on firearms.

hand cocking gun

photo Joel Bombardier via Flickr

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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