Washington D.C. Blocked From Enforcing Its Concealed Carry Law

The Supreme Court (Photo from Flickr, by Beatrice Murch)

The District of Columbia is one of the least gun-friendly communities in the nation. There’s a reason it was a test case before the Supreme Court, which overturned the city’s gun laws as being antithetical to the Second Amendment.


Knowing they couldn’t ban guns outright, the district has tried doing everything short of a bad to restrict the people’s right to keep and bear arms within their jurisdiction. However, they’ve now received a nasty pimp slap for their efforts.

D.C. officials will not be able to enforce the city’s strict limits on carrying concealed firearms on the streets of the nation’s capital under a court order issued Thursday.

The brief statement from a federal appeals court in Washington is the latest setback for the District’s efforts to restrict the carrying of guns in public places to people who demonstrate a “good reason” to do so.

The District’s top lawyer had asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to rehear a challenge to the gun-control law after a panel of three judges ruled against the city in July. But on Thursday, the appeals court declined, without explanation, to revisit the case.

The city’s permitting system had remained in effect while the appeal to the full court was under review — a holding pattern that meant the District still was able to bar most residents from carrying concealed guns.

The city now has seven calendar days to decide whether to ask the appeals court to put Thursday’s ruling on hold as it decides whether to seek review by the Supreme Court.

As several other appeals courts have upheld similar laws, this creates the kind of environment the Supreme Court likes before hearing a case. After all, there’s now case law going both ways, which means a Supreme Court decision is needed for clarification.


Considering the current makeup of the Court, however, gun grabbing groups probably aren’t that eager to present a case like this. After all, the only difference between the Supreme Court of today is Justice Gorsuch is there, not Justice Alito. Since Justice Gorsuch has pro-Second Amendment credentials and appears to be living up to them, there’s no reason to see the Court being appreciably different for anti-gun groups.

If the Court does hear the case, however, it could be a huge win for people all over the nation. I’ve had readers reach out to me to complain about their lot in life by living in New Jersey, where one must demonstrate a “need” to have a concealed carry permit, and quoting the Second Amendment doesn’t seem to illustrate it sufficiently to the powers that be.

There’s a part of me that hopes the district takes this case to the Supreme Court, and the Court opts to hear it, just for the benefit of our brothers and sisters in gun-hostile territory like New Jersey, New York City, and others where they view the right to keep and bear arms as a privilege, not a right. Let the Court rule once and for all.

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