Will Judge Hold D.C. In Contempt For Spiteful Gun Carry Law?

The District of Columbia has a population of  646,449 (2013, U.S. Census Bureau).

Of those nearly 650,000 citizens, only thirty have even attempted to go through the absurdly convoluted process that the city only created as a stop-gap measure so that they could attempt to have their complete ban on the carry of firearms reinstated.


Precisely zero have been granted a permit that ultimately relies on the whims of anti-gun Metro Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

Now, those who originally sued D.C. are saying that the District should be held in contempt.

The plaintiffs in Palmer v. D.C. want Judge Scullin to hold the city in contempt of his order to enact a licensing mechanism “enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

Alan Gura, the lawyer for the Palmer plaintiffs said in court that the new carry law is a “fig leaf” and a “symbolic gesture.”

“You can apply but the law on its face does not allow people to have a permit unless they have some special need as determined by Cathy Lanier,” Gura told me after the hearing. “The Second Amendment is a right of the people. It’s not the right of a few people who the police chief selects.”

We’re unlikely to see any immediate legal remedy for citizens in the District, who have no practical legal option to carry a handgun for self-defense.


The District’s “shall issue” policy is modeled on that of other states who have also used an extremely restrictive model that left-wing judiciaries have held (somehow) as being constitutional.

These “may issue” laws themselves seem destined for a U.S. Supreme Court challenge, and it will be interesting to see how the courts might rule in light of both Heller and McDonald and now Peruta.

A free people should be able to exercise and inalienable right to armed self-defense, and I trust that once this case (or one like it) makes it to the Supreme Court, the justices will have little recourse than to recognize that right.

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