Federal Court Grants Stay In DC Gun Case

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Jun 15, 2015 5:50 PM
Federal Court Grants Stay In DC Gun Case

The DC Court of Appeals granted a stay last Friday in the latest case that chipped away at the city’s onerous gun laws regarding concealed carry permits (via WaPo):

A federal appeals court has ordered a stay of a judge’s ruling in a challenge to the District’s gun laws.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia temporarily blocked a decision made last month by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. that stopped the District from enforcing a key provision of its gun laws. That provision requires a person to state a “good reason” for carrying a weapon in order to obtain a permit from police.

The stay, granted late Friday, is a minor victory for the District in the ongoing court battle over its gun laws.

In May, a federal judge struck down the “good reason” provision* of DC’s concealed carry law as unconstitutional. The provision required applicants to show they “fear injury to his or her person, which shall at a minimum require a showing of a special need for self protection distinguishable from the general community.” Judge Frederick J. Scullin, who issued the ruling, also denied the city's initial request for a stay .

On June 2, Stephen Gutowski reported over at the Free Beacon that DC Police had stopped denying gun permits as a result of the ruling, though he really didn’t get much of a response from them:

“Since the injunction was issued, we have not issued any denials of applications,” D.C. Police spokesman Lieutenant Sean Conboy said. “We have not denied any applications. We have issued two letters invoking the additional 90-day period to process two of those applications that were pending.”

Conboy could not say whether any new applications would be approved or what would happen to those whose applications had been denied under the now defunct “good reason” clause.

“We’re awaiting further guidance from the Office of the Attorney General on other applications,” he said.

The department’s action stems from a May 18 ruling from Judge Frederick J. Scullin that declared the city’s “good reason” clause, which effectively gave D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier final say in who receives a permit, a violation of the Second Amendment.

*The case is called Wrenn v. District of Columbia