Economy

DC appeals court won't revisit ruling blocking gun law

DC appeals court won't revisit ruling blocking gun law”

A week after that time lapsed, "good reason" would no longer be the law of the land.

The federal appeals court ruled on September 28 to uphold the decision with no explanation.

Second Amendment advocates who brought the lawsuit said the city's law was so restrictive that most law-abiding citizens would be unable to obtain permits. "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 majority.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit reached a similar conclusion in 2012, when it overturned an IL law that prohibited most people (aside from police officers, security guards, and a few other exceptions) from carrying ready-to-use guns.

In a win for gun rights activists, a federal appeals court on Thursday let stand another court's ruling that it was unconstitutional for Washington, D.C.'s local government to require licensed gun owners to provide a "good reason" for legally carrying a concealed weapon in the nation's capital city. "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".

The city had a month to decide if it wanted to appeal to the full court, a process known as "en banc".

The Senate voted 95-1 Thursday to confirm Judge Ralph Erickson of Fargo to the St. Louis-based court.

Washington, D.C., said it is deciding whether or not to appeal the case to the Supreme Court but has advised the Metropolitan Police Department to continue enforcing the "good reason" clause until the appeals court orders otherwise. Since "the law-abiding citizen's right to bear common arms must enable the typical citizen to carry a gun", the court said, the District's law is clearly unconstitutional, amounting to "a total ban on most D.C. residents' right to carry a gun in the face of ordinary self-defense needs, where these residents are no more risky with a gun than the next law-abiding citizen".

Mr. Racine said the requirement will remain in effect until the D.C. Circuit issues a mandate effectuating the ruling, which will likely take a week. In 2013 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit upheld a similar New Jersey law, requiring a "justifiable need" for a carry permit, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit upheld a Maryland law demanding a "good and substantial reason". "That is a right that most D.C. residents can never exercise, by the law's very design". That famous decision enshrined the right of individuals to possess and carry firearms as part of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment Foundation is one of the plaintiffs in the case.

Attorney General Karl A. Racine called the restrictions "common sense gun rules" due to the unique security problems the capitol faces and said in a statement reported by the Washington Post that he is disappointed in the decision and will consult with the mayor, council members and the police department for next steps.

Update 9:00 p.m.: This post has been updated with comment from the NRA and the attorney general.



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