DC Wants To Takes Its Chance Before SCOTUS On This Second Amendment Issue

While the Supreme Court may have passed on one case dealing with “may issue” permitting laws, it looks like the District of Columbia will be giving them another shot to hear such a case. It seems that the D.C. attorney general didn’t like an appeals court decision that smacked down the city’s licensing system.

In particular, the fact that it’s virtually impossible for people to actually get one.

The attorney general for D.C. is challenging a U.S. Appeals Court’s decision that knocked down the District’s gun permit laws.

A.G. Karl Racine filed a petition for a review by the full U.S. Court of Appeals of the July decision of a three-judge panel that found the city’s conditions to apply for a permit to carry a gun on the street were unconstitutional.

“The District’s requirement that those requesting concealed-carry permits must have a ‘good reason’ for doing so is virtually identical to rules in other cities and states — requirements that four other federal appeals courts have left in place,” Racine said in a statement.

The appeals panel, which ruled 2-1, said the law violates the Second Amendment right to bear arms.


The District has only granted 126 licenses but turned down 417, which certainly indicates a big problem. Who wants to bet that all of those 126 people are well-connected individuals while the 417 denials were just regular folks who wanted to be able to protect themselves?

What, no takers?

Anyway, now that the appellate court has ruled, the only place to appeal to would be the Supreme Court. That doesn’t mean the Court will hear the case, though if they refuse the case then the appellate court decision stands. That’s good news for D.C. residents, but it doesn’t do much to help people in other places.

In particular, D.C.’s stingy licensing system sounds ominously like that in New York City, which recently halted permitting due to a corruption scandal. It’s hard to imagine how a Supreme Court decision on D.C.’s licensing requirements wouldn’t have a meaningful impact on New York’s draconian system.

However, it’s also possible that a decision from the Court could also kill “may issue” laws in states like California and New Jersey as unconstitutional. This would be a huge boon for gun owners in those states, people who are required to jump through hoops just to be granted permission to carry their firearms.

It’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that such a case could lead to nation-wide constitutional carry, though the odds of that are about as good as Barack Obama joining the National Rifle Association and becoming the biggest pro-gun voice in the United States.

Alright, the odds are slightly better for the decision, but not by much.

Not that we should get our hopes up. As I previously mentioned, it appears the Court declined to hear a similar case recently. That means no one should get their hopes up they’ll hear this one.

But considering the way Heller worked out for the District of Columbia, I’m more surprised they’d take a chance this time around. May this one work out just as well as their last trip before the Court.