Wednesday, May 18, 2016

D.C. Judge Grants Temporary Injunction Against D.C. Gun Permit Law

Judge Richard J. Leon has issued a tightly reasoned opinion granting a temporary injunction against the enforcement of the District of Columbia's unreasonably restrictive handgun licensing scheme.  In effect, Judge Leon ruled that the District scheme was a thinly veiled ban on the carry of arms outside the home for the purposes of self defense in the District of Columbia.

A federal judge told D.C. to stop enforcing its concealed-carry gun law, which requires people to have a "good reason" in order to get a permit from police to carry guns.
This may seem like deja vu ... and that's because it isn't the first time a federal judge overturned District legislation on guns. The previous ruling prompted the D.C. Council to pass a law designating where licensed owners can carry handguns in public. They have to demonstrate they have a "good reason to fear injury to his or her person or property" or "any other proper reason for carrying a pistol."
Judge Leon found that it was likely that the plantiff's arguments would prevail in the civil case, and that irreparable harm would result if they were denied their right to bear arms in the interim. Second Amendment supporters have been saying this for decades.  Most people would find it obvious upon casual reflection.

As the good judge observes, the denial of a fundamental Constitutional right is, by definition, irreparable harm.  To reach this conclusion, Judge Leon first shows that Second Amendment rights extend outside the home.  Again, to impartial observers, this is obvious.  But to those who have been insisting that the Second Amendment is a legal nullity for a hundred years, there is no pretzel twisted logic that is a reach too far.  Judge Leon demolishes those weak and nonsensical attempts.  From Judge Richard J. Leon's opinion (pdf):
Given the textual and historical evidence, I have little trouble concluding that under its original meaning the Second Amendment protects a right to carry arms for self- defense in public. Of course, Judge Scullin already reached this same conclusion in Palmer. 59 F. Supp. 3d at 182. And, not surprisingly, the Court of Appeals panels that have directly addressed the issue have also reached the same conclusion. See Moore, 702 F.3d at 936 right to bear arms thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home?); Peruta, 742 F.3d at 1166 ("T]he carrying of an operable handgun outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense, though subject to traditional restrictions, constitutes 'bear[ing] Arms' within the meaning of the Second Amendment") (alteration in original). And other circuits have at least been willing to so assume. See Bonidy, 790 F.3d at 1125; Woollard v. Gallagher, 712 F.3d 865, 876 (4th Cir. 2014); Drake v. Filko, 724 F.3d 426, 431 (3d Cir. 2013); Kachalsky v. County of Westchester, 701 F.3d 81, 89 (2d Cir. 2012). Indeed, no Court of Appeals to date has found to the contrary.
The opinion was only filed a few hours ago.  The Washington Post has great sources inside the federal judiciary.  I found a Link to archive of Grace et al v. District of Columbia et al. The opinion has not been added to the archive of the case documents at that site, but I expect it will be added shortly.

It is likely that the District of Columbia will ask the  District of Columbia Court of Appeals to stay the injunction pending an appeal.  That is what the District did in previous cases.  There were differences in those cases, however, and it is not clear if the D.C. Court of Appeals will grant a stay in this case.  We should find out shortly.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.  Link to Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

Very recently the supreme court ruled in a case it had jurisdiction for that if it is not written in the law it does not exist. therefore if the second amendment does not specifically state the right to keep and bear arms is limited to in home self protection it can not be construed to exist. To keep and bare is any where you happen to be. Why, because no body has ever made an appointment to be attacked. No one knows when that need to be armed will occur. It might be in your home and just as well be in the supermarket or church or the city park. there is a term that has been used many, many. times , drive by shooting, random break in, felony assault, they can not produce any case where a person made an appointment to be harmed. self defense is self defense where ever you happen to be when ever you need the protection. a drive by shooting could happen a block form a school, did the shooter care? wait for you to walk a mile past the school? ask for your home address so they could show up at a later time? NO they just shoot because they could care less what the law says.

Anonymous said...

Makes me wish I had a franchise for adult diapers. I think I could sell a small fortune of them at the DC police station. I'll bet the police become much more respectful. A night stick can be a deadly weapon. It might be a reason to be more careful when they decide to pull one. It could be dangerous to use it.

Anonymous said...

Subject to traditional restrictions = infringement.

What is NOT the right may be honorably and properly restricted, but what IS the right shall not be. It really is pretty simple.

Example - Criminalizing the robbing of the corner gas station is proper "restriction" because this is not a right secured by the Second Amendment. Criminalizing the carrying (like by claiming the authority to require a permission slip) of a firearm to defend against being robbed is not a proper "restriction". Government has the authority to impose the prior but is indeed specifically prohibited from imposing the latter. That simplicity is enshrined plainly in our highest law - our very form of government itself...our Constitution itself.

All that truly remains is being faithful to it, adhering to it, abiding by it.
Instead, dishonorable people play wordsmithing games and semantics in effort to avoid admitting the simplest and most self evident truths. Pretty pathetic, eh?

Even more pathetic are those who claim we have to make deals with and compromise with those who refuse to admit what is written right there in our Constitution itself. Meh, maybe they just cannot read cursive writing?