Just months after Washington D.C.’s new concealed carry laws went into effect a federal judge has already ruled that part of the new law is unconstitutional. The ruling targets the district’s “may issue” portion of the law. As the law is currently written, applicants must show a need for a permit and they are being very selective with who receives permits.
U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. issued the ruling in a 23 page decision.
Here are some key excerpts from the decision.
The District of Columbia’s arbitrary “good reason”/”proper reason” requirement, however, goes far beyond establishing such reasonable restrictions. Rather, for all intents and purposes, this requirement makes it impossible for the overwhelming majority of law-abiding citizens to obtain licenses to carry handguns in public for self-defense, thereby depriving them of their Second Amendment right to bear arms. Accordingly, at this point in the litigation and based on the current record, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs have shown that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the District of Columbia’s “good reason”/”proper reason” requirement runs afoul of the Second Amendment…
…This Court agrees with the Seventh Circuit’s reasoning in Ezell [v. City of Chicago] and finds that Plaintiffs have established that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the District of Columbia’s “good reason”/”proper reason” requirement was unconstitutional when enacted and continues to violate their Second Amendment right to bear arms for the purpose of self-defense every day that the District of Columbia continues to enforce it. Thus, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs have established that they will suffer irreparable harm if the Court does not grant their motion for a preliminary injunction…
…As noted, Plaintiffs seek a very limited injunction. That is, they seek an injunction that only affects Defendants’ ability to enforce the District of Columbia’s “good reason”/”proper reason” requirement. They are not, as Defendants argue, seeking to prevent Defendants from enforcing the other provisions of the licensing mechanism nor do they seek to prevent Defendants from enacting and enforcing appropriate time, place and manner restrictions. Under these circumstances, the Court finds that the balance of the equities weighs in favor of granting Plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction…
And here are the actual results from the ruling:
ORDERS that Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction is GRANTED; and the Court further
ORDERS that Defendants, their officers, agents, servants, employees, and all persons in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of the injunction are enjoined from enforcing the requirement of D.C. Code § 22-4506(a) that handgun carry license applicants have a “good reason to fear injury to his or her person or property or has any other proper reason for carrying a pistol,” including, but not limited to, the manner in which that requirement is defined by D.C. Code § 7-2509.11 and 24 D.C.M.R. §§ 2333.1, 2333.2, 2333.3, 2333.4, and 2334.1, against Plaintiffs Brian Wrenn, Joshua Akery, Tyler Whidby, and other members of Plaintiff Second Amendment Foundation, Inc.; and the Court further
ORDERS that Defendants, their officers, agents, servants, employees, and all persons inactive concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of the injunction, are enjoined from denying handgun carry licenses to applicants who meet the requirements of D.C. Code 22-4506(a) and all other current requirements for the possession and carrying of handguns under District of Columbia law; and the Court further
ORDERS that, pursuant to Rule 65(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiffs shall post security in the amount of $1,000.00; and the Court further
ORDERS that counsel shall appear for a conference with the Court on Tuesday, July 7, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. to discuss an expedited schedule for the resolution of this case.
This is just the latest case to deal with “may issue” carry permits. Several other cases in other states have conflicting rulings on the matter. So far, the Supreme Court has not taken on any of these cases. It is believed the highest court in the country will eventually have to take on this issue before it is settled.