D.C. Concealed Gun Law Struck Down For The Second Time In Two Years

Richard_J._Leon_220px-CriminologygunglockI have been critical of the continuing refusal of the D.C. city council to adhere to the rulings of the United States Supreme Court on the Second Amendment. Nevertheless, the city continues to fund unsuccessful litigation that seems entirely detached from the controlling constitutional standard in cases like Heller. We previously discussed the prior defeat of the D.C. law curtailing guns rights. Now for the second time in two years, a federal court has enjoined the enforcement of the city’s concealed-carry law. In this case, the city imposes a standard that applicants must state “good reason” to carry a weapon in order to obtain a permit from police. In a 46-page ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon, the court declared the District’s gun-permitting system is likely unconstitutional. This law was the response to the court striking down the prior law in 2014.


The challenge was brought by Matthew Grace and a shooting group called the Pink Pistols. The city required that he show a “good reason to fear injury to his or her person or property” or another “proper reason” for carrying the weapon. You can cite various reasons like a personal threat, or a job that requires a person to carry or protect cash or valuables to seek approval.

Leon held that “Because the right to bear arms includes the right to carry firearms for self-defense both in and outside the home, I find that the District’s ‘good reason’ requirement likely places an unconstitutional burden on this right.”

On that basis, Leon found substantial likelihood that the plaintiffs would prevail on the merits and granted the temporary injunction. It is a thoughtful and persuasive decision (linked below).

The irony is that, starting with Heller itself, the D.C. government has repeatedly made some of the worst law for those seeking to limit gun possession. Yet the city continues to litigate with abandon in raking up defeats in the area. That may not be viewed as favorably by cities and states looking for the optimal test cases and arguments to limit the scope of Heller.

Here is the opinion: Grace decision

44 thoughts on “D.C. Concealed Gun Law Struck Down For The Second Time In Two Years

  1. DavidM,

    Sure, let’s be honest about the Second Amendment and acknowledge that it prescribes regulation, that the regulation be rigorous, for what else would would “well” mean if not rigorous, and that it should be for the purpose of maintaining a free state. Not so that the timorous among you can venture forth and feel empowered to take the law into your own hands. Like that murderous racist Zimmerman

  2. Agua deOro – “Freedom of religion does not extend to human sacrifice, although the rightwing appears to have found a way around that with the Second Amendment.”

    Much like the human sacrifice that you worship known as abortion.

  3. The goal is to get guns out of the hands of criminals…so they go after law abiding citizens who have passed a rigorous background check??? Couldn’t they spend their energy on breaking the gangs and attracting employers to impoverished parts of the city?

  4. Chicago and DC annually have some of the highest murder rates, and most restrictive gun laws. And, as the murders increase, the Dem leaders in those cities want TOUGHER laws. Logic and liberalism are polar opposites.

  5. “I have to disagree here. You’re placing “well regulated” out of context, i.e., it’s a a well-regulated militia, not well-regulated gun ownership. Additionally, your interpretation swallows “to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” as if it’s the second amendment’s appendix that can be removed whenever it becomes painful and inflamed.”

    Good one, Steve. I agree.

    Mass shootings do not get perpetrated my law abiding concealed carry permit holders.

    The typical mass shooter is white, mentally ill, on psychiatric medication with behavioral side effects, and he’s left a tidal wave of red flags that our broken mental health system can do little about.

    This concealed carry quest will not prevent mass shootings. Rather, it will create more victims. Mass shooters invariably pick defenseless soft targets. As soon as they are faced with someone armed (police or private citizen) they either shoot themselves or give up. Don’t we want to speed up that encounter with an armed defense?

    I recall hearing an interview with a survivor of that Texas cafe massacre. Her parents were killed right in front of her along with many others. All she could think about was her gun in the glove box of her truck parked outside. It was illegal to bring it into the restaurant. So in heavily armed Texas, restaurants were soft targets.

  6. Agua,
    “Pointing out that you only complain when it’s your ox that gets gored is a valid point.
    No it is not “valid”, because it is a logical fallacy.

    In a discussion about gun control, you brought up the unrelated topic of Bush and “voter fraud in national elections” and decided how I felt about that issue, and criticized your imaginary version of my stance.

    Straw man, and a classic one.

  7. OJ Simpson was PROVED to not be a murderer as well as Zimmerman. Yet I see most folks here do not believe or write that.

    • randyjet – both OJ and Zimmermann were found not guilty, not innocent. However, having watched both the trials opening to close IMHO they were both innocent.

  8. This is why many states enacted “Shall Issue” statutes–the license issuer must grant a CPL unless the applicant fails to qualify based upon statutory requirements, not arbitrary ideals by a sheriff, chief of police, or local government.

  9. Molly, Women are exponentially increasing in numbers getting CCW permits across the US. That is just logical and wise,

  10. Chicago and DC have many murders. They do not have anything like the nation’s highest murder RATES.

    Unfortunately, many do not understand there is a difference between number of murders and murder rates. Such people are short on other ‘facts’ as well – like the gun regulations in Chicago. Those were loosened several years ago due to a Supreme Court ruling.

    So those who rely on facile argument will now be faced with the reverse reasoning – all those increasing numbers murders no doubt are the result of the loosened gun regulations.

  11. Paul Schulte. “Agua deOro – Zimmermann was proved to be neither racist nor a murderer.”

    The Zimmerman prosecution went off the rails as soon as the police accepted Zimmerman’s story of the incident. If they were really doing their duty they should have still entertained the possibility that Z’s story could be a pack of lies and searched the crime scene for evidence falsifying it. They did not do so and when Z was charged several weeks later any evidence that existed on that night would have been most unlikely to have survived till then.

  12. RosieS is an old timer and he’s not real bright. There are a half dozen cities, all w/ tight gun laws and all run by Democrats, that bounce around the top 5 every year. This past year, Chicago was 5 but only because the corrupt mayor and chief cooked the books and were exposed by Chicago Magazine afterward. It IS the murder city of this country. DC was #3. Baltimore was 1, Detroit 2 and Vegas 5. Chicago and DC are 2 of the most dangerous cities, w/ the tightest gun laws in the country. That’s a fact, Mr. Rosie. “Facile” was your tell, dude.

  13. Why are the attorneys involved for the city not being sanctioned? If they are recommending or offering no objections to legislation that is clearly Unconstitutional they should be sanctioned. (Unless they’ve sufficiently covered their butts).

  14. On this “Goldwater” person, when he/she refers to mass shootings do they mean all such incidents or only those matching an accepted narrative? It disgusts me about as much when the media and usual suspects drop or self-edit coverage of shootings where the perp is African American (Oregon, Roanoke) as when the kooks and conspiracy nuts crawl out from under rocks (Sandy Hook).

    There is no credibility for Aqua deOro when the story of every shooting is subject to potential alteration in order to fit a political motif. It was a disgrace when the African American identity of the murderer at Umpqua Community College was exposed by White Nationalist/Supremacist blogs after the media declined to report the facts. It’s a disgrace when what would be “mass shootings” if perpetrated by Whites (e.g., drug related killings) goes unreported outside of local news if the murderers are African American. It’s a disgrace when the written materials of a murderer are released to the public only if they are White (Charleston S.C. vs. Roanoke, Va.). It’s a disgrace when the federal government and media release as a mass killer’s statement written materials that could not possibly have been composed by the killer (Charleston). It’s a disgrace when a terrorist action is initially reported as some (White) gun nuts shooting up an office, and then treated as a mass shooting rather than a terrorist action by the American President (San Bernadino). It’s a disgrace when a mass killing of enormous proportions ends up eventually and inexplicably downplayed when it’s discovered the murderers are African American (D.C. Sniper). It’s a disgrace when coverage of horrible and heinous mass killings are treated by the media with enormous differences depending on the race of the murderer (Va. Tech vs. Sandy Hook; Isla Vista). And above all other issues, it’s a disgrace when the usual suspects fail to address or ponder the near absence of mass shootings/killings in America before the 1960’s despite what was clearly a greater availability of firearms.

    Until such incidents are addressed with candor and truthfulness those crying about mass shootings being “health and safety issues” have no credibility. They are no better than little Hitlers trying to force their “better” and far wiser morality upon average, law abiding people (btw, people whom they usually do not know and often hold in utter disdain)

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