Victory: D.C Appeals Court Denies Full Hearing Request Over Concealed Carry Law

Posted: Sep 29, 2017 6:30 PM

Well, there’s some good and bad news emanating from Washington D.C. concerning it’s concealed carry laws. The D.C. Court of Appeals has refused to hear the case again; the city wanted an en banc hearing. The previous ruling, a 2-1 decision, ruled that the “good reason” provision, which is a benchmark one must meet to legally obtain a carry permit in Washington, is unconstitutional. The nation’s capital has gun laws that are not much different than those in deep blue, anti-gun states—mostly run by Democrats. To get a carry permit, you have to show authorities a good reason, namely a threat against your life, in order to exercise your constitutional right to self-defense and the Second Amendment. It’s ridiculous. Plaintiffs from Maryland and New Jersey have petitioned the Supreme Court to hear arguments on such provisions in “may issue” states, but the Court has declined repeatedly to hear oral arguments. A “may issue” state can arbitirarly deny your gun rights, whereas states with “shall issue” carry laws have to give you your permit upon completing the necessary paper work, the courses, and passing a background check. Some states, at least a dozen, don’t even bother with such regulations, as they’ve adopted constitutional carry. Meaning that you do not need a permit to concealed carry in the state. Liberals, before you get worked up, Vermont, a blue state, has adopted such a law; their gun violence is barely reported because there is none, unlike Chicago.

While the D.C Court of Appeals may have denied the city another go at arguing the provision, it is still enforced by the D.C. police. Stephen Gutowski of the Washington Free Beacon has more:

Wrenn v. D.C. is the latest in a long series of challenges to the city's strict gun laws. The case centers around the city's gun-carry law, put in place after the previous ban on all gun-carry was declared unconstitutional, which allows city officials to deny a permit application based on whether they believe the applicant has a "good reason" for obtaining one. The plaintiffs complained that in practice this has resulted in very few gun-carry permits being issued in the city, with only 126 permits issued as of July 2017, and said the restriction is an unconstitutional infringement on their Second Amendment rights.

In a 2-1 ruling, the three-judge appeals court panel agreed with the plaintiffs.

"We are bound to leave the District as much space to regulate as the Constitution allows—but no more. Just so, our opinion does little more than trace the boundaries laid in 1791 and flagged in Heller I," Judge Thomas Griffith wrote for the majority. "And the resulting decision rests on a rule so narrow that good-reason laws seem almost uniquely designed to defy it: that the law-abiding citizen’s right to bear common arms must enable the typical citizen to carry a gun."

Washington, D.C., disagreed with the ruling and defended their gun-carry law by asking the full appeals court to hear the case.

"The District's requirement that those requesting concealed-carry permits must have a ‘good reason' for doing so is virtually identical to rules in other cities and states—requirements that four other federal appeals courts have left in place," Racine said in an August statement. "We at the Office of Attorney General believe our common-sense gun rules are very much in line with Supreme Court precedent on the Second Amendment, which is why we have asked the full D.C. Circuit to reconsider the earlier 2-1 ruling by a panel of that court."

On Thursday, the appeals court declined to hear the case again before the full court when no judge requested a vote on the potential hearing.

Washington, D.C., said it is deciding whether or not to appeal the case to the Supreme Court but has advised the Metropolitan Police Department to continue enforcing the "good reason" clause until the appeals court orders otherwise.

The silver lining here is that every state and every federal enclave now recognizes one’s right to carry a firearm. On principle, that’s great. The whole country knows citizens have some form of concealed carry rights. Now, we just have to fight a few more legal battles in more Democratic areas to make those rights concrete and tear down the obstacles that are preventing citizens from fully exercising their Second Amendment rights.