DC Won’t Appeal Carry-Permit Ruling

District officials will not appeal a court order blocking enforcement of the city’s restrictions on the carrying of concealed guns in public, setting the stage for what could be a marked increase in firearms on the streets of the nation’s capital. D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine (D) will announce the decision not to appeal to the Supreme Court this afternoon, according to a city official with knowledge of the decision. It comes as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is expected to issue an order as soon as today enforcing its recent ruling that struck down the city’s requirement that people seeking licenses to carry concealed weapons must demonstrate a “good reason” – such as a credible fear of violence – for carrying a gun in public... It means permit-seekers could begin applying to carry concealed weapons as soon as today. It is not yet clear whether city officials will attempt to rewrite the law to enforce additional permit restrictions beyond the requirements – for a background check and firearms training – that the appeals court left intact… But even without the “good reason” requirement to carry concealed guns in public, the city has some of the toughest laws in the country. Residents who want to carry must undergo 16 hours of training in firearms safety, two hours of range training, and training on D.C. gun law and self-defense. (Two comments: First, as I’ve suggested before, we’re probably better off not having such a case appealed to SCOTUS until at least one more originalist is confirmed as a justice. Second, while a quick search failed to turn up a figure for how many handguns are actually registered under the District’s draconian requirements, it must only be a small proportion of all the guns in this small jurisdiction. Similar requirements for a license to carry will ensure that it remains beyond the reach of most District residents. An alert from VCDL states that DCMPD will automatically review all the applications for carry licenses that were denied for lack of adequate cause.)


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