A federal appellate court blocked enforcement of D.C.’s concealed carry law that required gun owner’s to document a “good reason” in order to obtain a concealed carry permit in the district.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered lower courts to issue injunctions blocking enforcement of the D.C. law.
Arguments in the case centered on the right of self-defense vs. the safety of the public.
In the dissent opinion, Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson wrote that the D.C. law supported two important government functions: “the prevention of crime and the promotion of public safety.”
The majority opinion cited D.C. v. Heller, a landmark Supreme Court case on the Second Amendment.
“In fact, the [Second] Amendment’s core at a minimum shields the typically situated citizen’s ability to carry common arms generally,” wrote Circuit Judge Thomas B. Griffith in the majority opinion. “The District’s good-reason law is necessarily a total ban on exercises of that constitutional right for most D.C. residents. That’s enough to sink this law under Heller.”
Circuit Judge Stephen F. Williams joined Judge Griffith in the majority opinion.
The regulation was crafted by the D.C. City Council after a federal court overturned the city’s ban on carrying firearms in public in 2014.
D.C. Metro police had only approved 20% of applications for concealed carry permits.
“Today’s ruling contains some powerful language that affirms what we have argued for many years, that requiring a so-called ‘good cause’ to exercise a constitutionally-protect right does not pass the legal smell test,” said Second Amendment Foundation founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We’re particularly pleased that the opinion makes it clear that the Second Amendment’s core generally covers carrying in public for self-defense.”
Washington, D.C. officials are likely to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.