Saturday, August 26, 2017

D.C. Requests en banc hearing on Court Rulling that Protects Second Amendment Rights

In Wrenn v D.C., the D.C. Court of appeals ruled that the right to keep and bear arms applied outside of the home. The majority opinion in the three judge panel was well written. One option of the District of Columbia was to ask for an en banc hearing, where all the courts judges would hear the case, instead of the three judge panel that made the decision. As expected, the district has exercised its option to ask for an en banc hearing. From
BELLEVUE, WA – The District of Columbia has filed an appeal with the U.S. District Court of Appeals requesting an en banc hearing in a case recently won by the Second Amendment Foundation that struck down the “good reason” requirement for obtaining a concealed carry permit.

The case is Wrenn v. District of Columbia.

“The Second Amendment Foundation expected the City of Washington, DC to file this appeal in an attempt to try to overturn our court victory that said their virtual ban on the right to carry a firearm for self-protection was unconstitutional,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb.
A decision on the request is normally given in seven days. There are  11 active and 5 senior judges on the D.C. District Court of Appeals. If the request for the en banc hearing is accepted, 6 active judges need to vote to accept the request. There were two active judges on the three judge panel. One voted for the decision and 1 voted against it.  The senior judge on the panel was in the majority.

The D.C. Circuit only grants en banc review to .2% of the cases it hears. The arguments in Wrenn are clear and convincing. But the case could be considered so important that an en ban review is justified.  From  From the decision:

Our first question is whether the Amendment’s “core” extends to publicly carrying guns for self-defense. The District argues that it does not, citing Heller I’s observation that “the need for defense of self, family, and property is most acute” in the home. Id. at 628. But the fact that the need for self-defense is most pressing in the home doesn’t mean that self-defense at home is the only right at the Amendment’s core. After all, the Amendment’s “core lawful purpose” is self-defense, id. at 630, and the need for that might arise beyond as well as within the home. Moreover, the Amendment’s text protects the right to “bear”as well as “keep”arms. For both reasons, it’s more natural to view the Amendment’s core as including a law-abiding citizen’s right to carry common firearms for self-defense beyond the home (subject again to relevant “longstanding” regulations like bans on carrying “in sensitive places”). Id. at 626.
This reading finds support in parts of Heller I that speak louder than the Court’s aside about where the need for guns is “most acute.” That remark appears when Heller I turns to the particular ban on possession at issue there. By then the Court has spent over fifty pages giving independent and seemingly equal treatments to the right to “keep” and to “bear,” first defining those “phrases” and then teasing out their implications. See id. at 570-628. In that long preliminary analysis, the Court elaborates that to “bear” means to “‘wear, bear, or carry . . . upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose . . . of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’” Id. at 584 (quoting Muscarello v. United States, 524 U.S. 125, 143 (1998) (Ginsburg, J., dissenting)). That definition shows that the Amendment’s core must span, in the Court’s own words, the “right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” Id. at 592 (emphasis added).

We should know if the Circuit grants review in a week. If they do not grant an en banc review, expect the District of Columbia to appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems simple enough to me. I keep everything I own at home or in safe place. I can carry or bear anything I own any where I please and in the right of self defense context. I have no idea where or where I may need to defend myself. There are plenty of stories of the need to defend any where at any time. grocery store parking lots walking down the street, under ground parking areas, in the park. Many of those instances have been reported on this site. criminals pick their target any where any time and telling them they cant carry is not going to work or the word criminal would not be needed in out language. People have opinions on everything but opinions are not law and opinions never stopped an assault.