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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Federal Judge Strikes Down D.C.’s Concealed-Carry Scheme

The District of Columbia’s continued effort to ban the right to keep and bear arms suffered another blow yesterday when a federal judge issued an injunction prohibiting D.C. from requiring lawful citizens to show “good reason” before being granted a permit to carry a firearm. 

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon found the law violated the “core right of self-defense,” and quoted the Supreme Court’s decision in D.C. v. Heller in his 46-page opinion: “The enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.” Judge Leon also reinforced the right to carry arms for self-protection, writing that the Second Amendment “Is Not Limited to the Home.” 

The 2008 Heller decision struck down D.C.’s handgun ban and affirmed an individual right to keep and bear arms. In response, the D.C. city council drafted a ban on carrying firearms in public, which was struck down in 2014. D.C. then instituted a restrictive licensing scheme that issued practically zero licenses—which the judge ruled was a de facto ban.