The stay of the permanent injunction ordered by Judge Frederic J. Scullin in the Palmer v. D.C. case has raised considerable ire among those who believe that the right to keep and bear arms has been denied in the District of Columbia for far too long. Many thought that if constitutional carry were allowed for a period of time in the District, crime rates would have dropped. Alan Gura predicted sucha drop. Many thought a crime rate drop would make it hard to justify a stay. Some accused Alan Gura of being an accomplice of the establishment in limiting the effect of the ruling.
Others are convinced that Alan Gura has done a masterful job of managing the inevitable issuance of a stay to forward the ends of restoring second amendment rights. From commenter Dirk Diggler at TheTruthAboutGuns.com:
Dirk is an attorney. Others made clear that if Judge Scullin had not granted a stay, it was likely that a worse, longer stay would have been granted by the appeals court. From Thundar at opencarry.org:
The way the 90 day order is written is actually a very good order for gun owners.
Those that would suppress our civil rights were always going to get some sort of stay either from Scullin or from the Circuit Court. 90 days (instead of 180 days) and only for writing constitutional laws is a good thing. Not giving DC grounds to appeal the stay at this time is another good thing.
Remember this order is not a general stay, but a stay so that the district may draft constitutional law if they so choose. The district has 45 days to appeal the ruling. If DC appeals the ruling, the stay goes away. So the district has until September 9 to appeal the ruling. If they do appeal, the DC Council will not be in session until 15 September. So it would appear that in order to appeal, the district would have another period under which constitutional carry would apply.
Gura is smart. He is playing to win. Appearing reasonable and not backing the decider into a corner is good when dealing with a single district court judge. It also sets a tone for the length of stays in the future - 90 days instead of 180 days.
Here is a link to the pdf file of court ordered Stay in Palmer v. D.C. I have transcribed it below for those who do not wish to open the pdf. Any errors in the copy below are mine. The formating is a little different from the original, and I have cut out the addressing. I believe it makes the order easier to read. I have added links to the D.C. code mentioned.
This looks more and more like a smart strategy on the part of Alan Gura. Notice that both parties are required to present argument as to why or why not a stay should be granted pending appeal. The court explicitly says that court is "not convinced that Defendants will be able to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits to warrant such a stay". To me, that makes it likely that if the District decides to appeal, the stay will be lifted, just at Thundar noted above.ORDER
In a Memorandum-Decision and Order dated July 24, 2014, this Court concluded that the District of Columbia's total ban on the carrying of handguns in public was unconstitutional; and, therefore, the Court permanently enjoined Defendants from enforcing D.C. Code §§ 7-2502(a)(4) and 22-4504(a).
On July 28, 2014, Defendants filed a partially unopposed motion to stay pending appeal or, in the alternative, for 180 days and for immediate administrative stay. See Dkt. No. 52 at 1. In support of this motion, Defendants' counsel advised the Court that he had conferred with Plaintiffs' counsel, "who indicated that [P]laintiffs do not oppose a 90-day stay starting immediately 'pending the city council enacting remedial legislation that complies with constitutional standards.'" See id. at 1-2.
Based on the parties' agreement that an immediate 90-day stay is appropriate to provide the city council with an opportunity to enact appropriate legislation consistent with the Court's ruling,1 the Court hereby
ORDERS that Defendants' motion for a stay is GRANTED to the extent that the Court's July 24, 2014 Order is stayed nunc pro tunc for 90 days, i.e., until October 22, 2014; and the Court further
ORDERS that Plaintiffs shall file their opposition to Defendants' motion for a stay pending appeal on or before August 4, 2014; and the Court further
ORDERS that Defendants may file a reply in further support of their motion for a stay pending appeal on or before August 11, 2014. 2
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: July 29, 2014
Syracuse, New York
Note 1 The Court notes that it sees no need to clarify its decision. The only issue before the Court was whether the District of Columbia's complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public was unconstitutional. Thus, the Court's injunction clearly applied only to handguns and not any other type of deadly dangerous weapon.
Note 2 Based on the papers that Defendants have filed in support of their motion for a stay pending appeal, the Court is not convinced that Defendants will be able to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits to warrant such a stay. Nonetheless, the Court will provide the parties with an opportunity to present their arguments in full before ruling on this part of Defendants' motion.
Link to Gun Watch