Judge Rules D.C.’s “Good Reason” Requirement Not Good Enough

posted on May 20, 2015

Affirming that D.C.’s “good reason” requirement for concealed-carry permits violates the Second Amendment, a federal judge on Monday issued a preliminary injunction against the District. In a 23-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Frederick Scullin said that because the three plaintiffs—denied permits by Police Chief Cathy Lanier, who has sole authority to decide who “deserves” a permit—were likely to win their case, the District cannot continue enforcing the law.

The judge noted that the issue isn’t whether “good reason” is a reasonable policy choice, but rather whether it’s constitutional. “For all intents and purposes, this requirement makes it impossible for the overwhelming majority of law-abiding citizens to obtain licenses to carry handguns in public for self-defense, thereby depriving them of their Second Amendment right to bear arms.” 

The Metropolitan P.D. reported that out of 70 concealed-carry applications filed from October through February, only 11 have been approved.

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