Tags: Gun Control | Gun Rights | Concealed | weapon | gun | control | judge

Judge Blasts DC's Discretionary Gun Licenses

By    |   Monday, 25 May 2015 11:58 AM

Gun control advocates suffered a serious setback on May 18 when a federal court found Washington, D.C.'s strict "may issue" laws for obtaining a concealed carry permit to be unconstitutional.

The order, issued by Judge Frederick J. Scullin of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, in the case of Wrenn vs. District of Columbia, struck down the district's latest attempt to avoid the "shall issue" regulations in force in most states, which remove police discretion in the granting of concealed carry permits, the National Rifle Association (NRA) notes.

In October, the same judge struck down D.C.'s complete ban on gun carry, causing the district to enact emergency legislation which limited the granting of permits only to those who can show "good reason," such as being a victim of an assault or threats or carrying valuable items as a work necessity, the Washington Post reports.

The court commented, "Defendants have failed to demonstrate that there is any relationship … between reducing the risk to other members of the public and/or violent crime and the District of Columbia's 'good reason/proper reason' requirement," adding, "this requirement makes it impossible for the overwhelming majority of law-abiding citizens to obtain licenses to carry handguns in public for self-defense, thereby depriving them of their Second Amendment right to bear arms," the NRA noted.

Three men, Joshua Akery, Tyler Whidby, and Brian Wrenn, and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) filed the suit, and SAF  Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb told the Washington Free Beacon, "This is a devastating loss for the District and its anti-gun-rights policy."

He warned, "If they do not comply with the court order, we will move to hold them in contempt. We will take this case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court."

However, D.C. officials oppose the ruling, and the district's Democratic Mayor Muriel E. Bowser told the Post the district will continue "to fight to ensure the District has the safest gun laws in the nation.

"Today, D.C. is safer than it has been in years, and we will not retreat from that progress," the Post reported.

Democratic D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson told the Post, "I would hope that we would appeal the decision."

The Post notes that federal courts in New York, New Jersey and Maryland have upheld "may issue" licensing systems and the Supreme Court has declined to review those decisions.

Only nine out of 46 states requiring permits for concealed carry have a "may issue" restriction, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence notes, while 20 "shall issue" states have some limited discretion, 17 have no discretionary limits and four states, Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming, do not require permits for concealed carry.

The Free Beacon notes that the judge also required both sides to meet on July 7 to "discuss an expedited schedule for the resolution of this case."

Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Colo., have proposed federal legislation striking down D.C.'s gun control laws. Rubio told the Post, "For years, the District of Columbia has infringed on its residents’ Second Amendment rights and rendered them vulnerable to criminals who could care less what the gun laws are."

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Gun control advocates suffered a serious setback on May 18 when a federal court found Washington, D.C.'s strict "may issue" laws for obtaining a concealed carry permit to be unconstitutional.
Concealed, weapon, gun, control, judge, court
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2015-58-25
Monday, 25 May 2015 11:58 AM
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