In a win for gun rights advocates, a federal appeals court on Thursday decided to let stand a ruling that found it is unconstitutional to require firearms owners prove a “good reason” in order to be permitted to carry a concealed handgun in the nation’s capital. The D.C. government had petitioned for the full D.C. Circuit to rehear the case en banc, but the court declined to revisit the 2-1 decision handed down earlier this year, noting that none of the 10 judges who considered the matter requested a vote on it. The decision leaves in place the D.C. Circuit’s prior ruling, which found that the city’s “good reason” requirement was unconstitutional. It also sets up the potential for the Supreme Court to take up the case, as the decision creates a split with other federal circuits that have found discretionary permitting schemes elsewhere are legal. “Sometimes the most important thing a court does is not do anything,” said Adam Winkler, a University of California at Los Angeles law professor who has written extensively on the Second Amendment. “Because of what the D.C. Circuit didn’t do today, the Supreme Court is now far more likely to take a concealed carry case.” D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said he was disappointed in Thursday’s decision, but it was not immediately apparent if his office would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. “As we review options for next steps in consultation with the mayor, the council and the Metropolitan Police Department, our primary concern will be ensuring public safety through reasonable gun laws,” Mr. Racine said. But the circuit split created by the D.C. ruling is the type of scenario gun rights activists have salivated over for years, with the hope that the Supreme Court would take up a case on concealed carry rights and rule to expand Second Amendment protections. Four other federal appeals courts have ruled in favor of similar restrictions elsewhere. The city’s law had required gun owners to prove they have a “good reason to fear injury” or another “proper reason,” such as a job that requires carrying large amounts of cash or valuables, in order to get a concealed carry permit. Under the city’s law, living in a high-crime neighborhood was not reason enough to justify approval of a concealed carry permit. Second Amendment advocates who brought the lawsuit said the city’s law was so restrictive that most law-abiding citizens would be unable to obtain permits. As of June, the Metropolitan Police Department reported having granted just 125 concealed carry permits. The city’s strict concealed carry laws have remained in effect while the D.C. Circuit was considering whether to rehear the case, so the ruling marks the first time the “good reason” requirements will be cast aside.
It’s about time! Glad to see the D.C. Circuit slap the fascist, Democrat, D.C. city government’s unconstitutional “good reason” requirement down. Outstanding!! 🙂