Washington D.C. gun owners scored a major victory on Tuesday when a federal appeals court struck down a District of Columbia gun-control measure that the court said is essentially an outright ban that violates the Second Amendment.
Fox News reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the D.C. regulation that requires gun owners to have a “good reason” to obtain a concealed carry permit. The court’s decision came down in a 2-1 vote.
“The good-reason law is necessarily a total ban on most D.C. residents’ right to carry a gun in the face of ordinary self-defense needs,” Judge Thomas B. Griffith wrote. “Bans on the ability of most citizens to exercise an enumerated right would have to flunk any judicial test.”
Griffith was joined in this decision by Judge Stephen F. Williams.
This has come as yet another setback for liberal D.C. officials who have been trying to rewrite gun regulations since the Supreme Court declared a Second Amendment right to gun ownership in a 2008 D.C. gun case.
John R. Lott, Jr. of the Crime Prevention Research Center spoke out to praise the decision, calling it huge.
“Right now, there are about 124 concealed handgun permit holders in D.C.,” Lott said. “If D.C. were like the 42 right-to-carry states, they would have about 48,000 permits. Right now D.C. prevents the most vulnerable people, particularly poor blacks who live in high crime areas of D.C., from having any hope of getting a permit for protection.”
The only dissenter was Judge Karen Henderson, who said the regulation “passes muster” because of the District of Columbia’s unique security challenges as the nation’s capital and because it does not affect the right to keep a firearm at home.
City officials have the right to appeal this decision. If they do so, they can ask all the judges on the circuit to rule on the matter.
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