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Washington DC Gun Laws and How They Compare Nationally

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By    |   Sunday, 05 Oct 2014 02:25 PM

Washington, D.C. gun laws — among the strictest in the nation — have come under continual scrutiny since the district banned handguns in the 1970s. After a recent court ruling called the ban unconstitutional, district leaders are looking to other areas as they rewrite gun laws.

After a 2008 Supreme Court ruling that the ban was unconstitutional, the district allowed residents to own guns, but not carry them in public. In July, a federal judge ruled that banning people from carrying guns outside the home is unconstitutional, sending city leaders back to the drawing board to rewrite the gun laws.

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Emergency legislation approved in September allows residents to apply for concealed-carry permits, with approval subject to strict requirements, including showing a compelling reason for the permit.

Eight states have similar laws, requiring residents to meet restrictions and demonstrate need before acquiring a permit.

Washington, D.C.’s emergency legislation is modeled after laws in Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. It leaves it up to the city’s police chief to determine whether applicants have a compelling reason to carry a concealed weapon.

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While city leaders maintain that that the district should remain free of guns and have asked the federal judge to reconsider his ruling, others think the district’s bill goes too far and have said they will mount a legal challenge.

"We don't live in a country where 'rights' are enjoyed only at the police's pleasure," Attorney Alan Gura said, according to NBC Washington.

Similar laws in Maryland, New Jersey, and New York have withstood court challenges.

According to The Washington Post, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said: “If it looks like we’re being cranks ... and we don’t want anyone to get a license, we’re in trouble in court. I do think this will survive a [legal] challenge.”

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Washington, D.C. gun laws - among the strictest in the nation - have come under continual scrutiny since the district banned handguns in the 1970s.
washington dc, gun, laws, compare, nationally
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2014-25-05
Sunday, 05 Oct 2014 02:25 PM
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