Victory in Palmer v DC!

In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny. Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional. Accordingly, the Court grants Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and enjoins Defendants from enforcing the home limitations of D.C. Code § 7-2502.02(a)(4) and enforcing D.C. Code § 22-4504(a) unless and until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.4 Furthermore, this injunction prohibits the District from completely banning the carrying of handguns in public for self-defense by otherwise qualified non-residents based solely on the fact that they are not residents of the District.

Another tremendous win for Alan Gura on the 2nd Amendment. This one strikes down the last jurisdiction in the country that has no provision for law-abiding residents to carry arms in public. Gura is likewise responsible for striking down the Illinois law prohibiting concealed carry.

It must be noted that this is a DC District Court opinion. Appeals are both possible and likely.

If DC chooses not to appeal, they will need to write legislation allowing for carry by law-abiding citizens. If they take this path, it will be interesting to see what sort of legislation results. Although several states maintain may-issue licensing regimes for handgun carry, when Illinois was forced to implement a carry law they went for shall-issue. In my opinion, anything short of shall-issue is likely to have constitutional problems, though training requirements and the like might survive.

Given the timing, I suspect that the House amendment to block all DC gun laws had something to do with finally getting a decision in this case.

UPDATE: SAF press release says DC does plan to appeal.

This entry was published Sat Jul 26 21:39:15 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2014-07-28 15:00:36.0. [Tweet]

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