Gun advocates chalk up 2nd win this year with D.C. ruling
Washington residents can legally carry handguns in the streets of the District, according to a federal judge.
In his ruling, Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. wrote that the D.C. ban on carrying handguns outside the home was “unconstitutional.”
Second Amendment advocates now have another legal victory. And both Washington and Chicago have lost another round in their decades-old legal battles to ban guns from their cities.
In January, a federal judge overturned Chicago’s laws banning retail gun shops and private firearm sales within the city limits. Chicago officials had argued that firearm sales contributed to high crime rates in the city. But the judge in the case disagreed, saying “the evidence does not support that the complete ban sufficiently furthers the purposes [of crime control] the ordinance tries to serve.”
In the Washington case (Palmer v. District of Columbia), the Second Amendment Foundation filed a lawsuit five years ago on behalf of several D.C. gun owners. They argued that while the District has ordinances that require handgun owners to have a permit to own and carry a gun in public, the city refused to issue any permits. And that policy was a violation of the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
Judge Scullin agreed, citing previous Supreme Court decisions: “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.”
In the latest D.C. ruling, Alan Gura, the lead attorney for the Second Amendment Foundation, told Fox News: “We won. I’m very pleased with the decision that the city can’t forbid the exercise of a fundamental constitutional right.”
Washington officials have not responded to media requests for comment on the case, but Gura expects the judge’s decision to be appealed. “We’ll be happy to keep the fight going,” Gura said.