D.C.’s ‘Good Reason’ Requirement Is Back … Temporarily

posted on June 1, 2016

In a 2-to-1 vote, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the District of Columbia can continue to require residents to demonstrate a “good reason” to carry a firearm until it can hear further argument.

The federal court issued a stay on U.S. District Judge Richard Leon’s temporary injunction, barring D.C. from requiring residents to demonstrate an extraordinary need to exercise a constitutional right. Judge Leon wrote that the requirement, which the city uses to create a de facto ban on carry, is “likely unconstitutional,” and that “the right to keep and bear arms includes the right to carry firearms for self-defense both inside and outside the home.” 

Last week, resident Devin Watkins wrote in The Federalist that when he applied for his permit, D.C. police told him they had been ordered to ignore Leon’s injunction, and that his failure to fill out the “good reason” section would guarantee rejection of his application. The D.C. Attorney General’s office issued a clarification on May 27.

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