Fellow residents of the DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia metro area) have something to celebrate: a ban on concealed carry has been ruled unconstitutional in D.C.! The plaintiffs’ lead attorney, Alan Gura, first reported this and provided the opinion from the U.S. District Court of Appeals on Palmer v. D.C.:
In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny. Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional. Accordingly, the Court grants Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and enjoins Defendants from enforcing the home limitations of D.C. Code § 7-2502.02(a)(4) and enforcing D.C. Code § 22-4504(a) unless and until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.4 Furthermore, this injunction prohibits the District from completely banning the carrying of handguns in public for self-defense by otherwise qualified non-residents based solely on the fact that they are not residents of the District.
Since I live near D.C., I’m absolutely thrilled to learn about this ruling. If you’ve ventured to certain parts of D.C.–namely Northeast or Southeast D.C.–you’ve read about, heard about, or witnessed violence in the nation’s capital. Many incidents in D.C. could have been prevented had this ban on concealed carry not been in effect. Many instances point to this.
For example, a D.C. resident named Dario Flammer was attacked by a group of guys near Logan Circle in June 2013. Following the incident, Flammer said he refused to become a victim again. NBC Washington reported:
Flammer says the attackers shouted homophobic slurs in Spanish.
Flammer plans to take steps to avoid becoming a victim again.
“I’m going to get a license and get a 9mm,” he said. “That’s the truth.”
Last September, Washington Navy Yard was subjected to a horrible shooting when unhinged military contractor Aaron Alexis killed 12 military personnel. A July 11th report on the Navy Yard shooting noted that a directive issued by President George H.W. Bush making military bases “gun-free zones” left those at Navy Yard defenseless:
“Police departments may hold the mistaken belief that the personnel working within gated military installations in the United States, such as the Navy Yard, are heavily armed and capable of defending against threats. The truth, however, is that the majority of the individuals working on military bases are not armed,” the report said.
Hope D.C. residents can enjoy the same luxury of gun rights as we do here in the Commonwealth:
Those of us in Virginia hope nearby DC residents can enjoy greater safety and confidence in their city with conceal carry. #2A
— Gabriella Hoffman (@Gabby_Hoffman) July 27, 2014
I will have further commentary on this ruling later this week, so stay tuned!