NRA: DC Concealed Carry Court Ruling Builds On Heller Decision

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As a result, the court issued a permanent injunction against requiring concealed carry applicants to show "good reason" for wanting to carry a gun. Millions of visitors to the nation's capital each year will now be able to apply for a carrying permit as well as residents. "This decision demonstrates that the right to carry a firearm outside the home for self-defense is clearly protected by the Second Amendment".

The NRA notes that an "overwhelming majority" of concealed carry permit applicants are denied a permit as a result of this requirement, so an essential ban on concealed carry permits exists for most applicants in the District. "And the resulting decision rests on a rule so narrow that good-reason laws seem nearly uniquely created to defy it: that the law-abiding citizen's right to bear common arms must enable the typical citizen to carry a gun".

After the high court passed on Peruta earlier this summer, Duke Law professor Joseph Blocher - who served on Washington, D.C.'s legal team during the Heller battle - told The Trace that it was "a plausible indication that the court doesn't have an appetite for a Second Amendment case right now". "We're particularly pleased that the opinion makes it clear that the Second Amendment's core generally covers carrying in public for self-defense". The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Judges Thomas B. Griffith and Stephen F. Williams were in the majority, while Judge Karen L. Henderson dissented.

Pratt blasted Henderson, saying she missed the entire point of the lawsuit. That's enough to sink this law under Heller I. "Keeping a gun at home is like keeping a vehicle in the garage - even though we need our gun and our auto much more away from home". "The Second Amendment doesn't secure a right to have some chance at self-defense". That's why we fought his soldiers. "I think that when the panel was announced, there was a lot of concern that these were very conservative judges".

Larry Pratt, executive vice president of Gunowners of America.


In nullifying the law, the Circuit Court rejected the local government's argument that the law was justified by the public safety needs due to the dense population of the Washington, D.C., area, the presence in the city of many prominent government and foreign officials, and a high-crime rate keyed to access to guns.

For a concealed carry permit, a local resident must offer proof of "a good reason to fear injury", which is spelled out as requiring "evidence of specific threats or previous attacks" indicating a "special danger" to that person's life. It was previously blocked by one federal court judge last May, a decision stayed by the U.S. Court of Appeals the following month.

The 31-page majority opinion also said that the District's "good cause" requirement was essentially created to prevent the exercise of the right to bear arms by most District residents.

Gun ownership and the right to carry a handgun has been an issue in the District since 1976, when the first handgun ban was put into place. That release quotes D.C. Circuit Judge Thomas Beall Griffith pointing out that the "good reason" requirement can not survive the test of District of Columbia v. Heller (2008).

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