For a long time, people who lived in or visited the District of Columbia faced some of the nation’s tightest restrictions on carrying a concealed gun. That finally changed in 2017 when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the District’s demand that applicants show “good cause” for a carry permit was burdensome. With the freedom to apply under the new “shall-issue” status, almost 1,900 residents now are authorized to carry in the nation’s capital.
The Metropolitan Police Department said it has granted 1,896 concealed-carry permits so far this year. That includes holdover applications that were submitted in 2017 but granted this calendar year. Before the court ruling in Wrenn v. District of Columbia, 123 people had active permits in Washington, D.C. The reason the number was so scant was that police could arbitrarily decide that one’s reason wasn’t good enough to justify authorizing self-protection.
While the District still has a slew of hurdles—among them: training, fingerprinting and background checks—the Wrenn ruling was a move in the right direction insofar as letting people exercise their Second Amendment rights is concerned. And the numbers prove that denizens had a pent-up demand for permission to protect themselves.