Judge Rejects D.C.'s Stay Request On Concealed Carry Decision

Our friend and colleague Matt Vespa reports at Townhall.com that a federal district court judge has rejected the District of Columbia’s request for a stay on his ruling that D.C.’s “good reason” (a highly-restrictive “may issue” requirement) for concealed carry is unconstitutional:

A judge has denied Washington D.C’s request for a stay after the city’s carry law was ruled unconstitutional last week. Judge Frederick J. Scullin ruled that a provision in DC’s concealed carry process, which included a requirement for applicants to show “a good reason to fear injury to his or her person, which shall at a minimum require a showing of a special need for self protection distinguishable from the general community” was unconstitutional. Applicants had to document the threats made against them as well. Two D.C residents and one Florida resident filed a lawsuit over the provision. On May 18, Judge Scullin issued an injunction over the provision, but kept in place other portions of the city’s concealed carry law, like areas where carrying was banned, like libraries, government buildings, public transportation, and bars. Permit holders–all eight of them–also have to be at least 1,000 feet away from any foreign or U.S. dignitary.

The Second Amendment Foundation commented on the case:

The federal district court judge handling the Second Amendment Foundation’s challenge to the District of Columbia’s “good reason” concealed carry permit requirement has denied the city’s request for an immediate administrative stay of his ruling last week granting a preliminary injunction against further enforcement of the requirement. The District is also seeking a stay pending appeal.

Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr., announced his decision this morning, and set two important dates. By June 22, SAF and its co-plaintiffs must file papers opposing the city’s stay pending appeal request, and the city must respond by June 26. This development is seen as a clear win by SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb.

“The Second Amendment Foundation is pleased that the court ruled immediately against the city and has forced them to start issuing carry permits,” Gottlieb said. “By now they should realize that when we say we will do everything in our legal power to force them to recognize that people have Second Amendment rights we mean it.”

The city has required concealed carry applicants to provide justification for wanting a permit to carry firearms outside the home for personal protection. Judge Scullin ruled last week that the requirement “impinges on Plaintiff’s Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

“Bearing arms is a civil right,” Gottlieb observed, “not a government-regulated privilege subject to arbitrary discretion. This case isn’t about making a political statement, but about making the District of Columbia comply with an earlier court ruling, and with the constitution.

“The city is running out of wiggle room,” he added, “and should immediately start issuing permits to all citizens who meet the legal qualifications.”

The District should begin issuing concealed carry permits without the onerous “good reason” requirement immediately. Whether they will or not remains to be seen.