Judge Rules Against D.C.’s ‘Good Reason’ Licensing Standard

A federal judge in Grace and the Pink Pistols v. District of Columbia lawsuit has instructed D.C. officials to stop enforcing provisions of the city’s code that barred most D.C. residents from carrying firearms for self-protection.PinkPistolsLOGO

In the ruling, Judge Richard J. Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia concluded that the district’s law is likely unconstitutional and that the plaintiffs who are challenging it in court would be severely harmed if the district were allowed to continue to enforce its ban while the lawsuit went forward. The judge held that the district’s “overly zealous…desire to restrict the right to carry in public a firearm for self-defense to the smallest possible number of law-abiding, responsible citizens” unconstitutionally flouted the Second Amendment.

The lawsuit was filed last year by Matthew Grace, the owner of four legally registered handguns, and Pink Pistols, a shooting group to which he belongs. In the suit, Grace said that he had no special reason for needing to carry a gun on the street, beyond the usual worries about street violence, but that the gun law violated the Second Amendment right to bear arms for self-defense. The Pink Pistols calls itself “the world’s largest GLBT self-defense organization,” with the motto “Pick On Someone Your Own Caliber.”

In 2008, the Supreme Court struck down a D.C. law banning most citizens from possessing handguns at all, reasoning that such a ban was inconsistent with the individual right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment. The district continued to enforce its ban on carrying firearms in public even after that ruling, however, and a federal district court struck that separate ban down in 2014.

The district responded by enacting a new “licensing” scheme that only allowed its residents to carry firearms in public if they could show a specific, documented need for self-defense—for example, by proving that they had been attacked or were receiving death threats. The city issued a minuscule number of licenses, and the scheme had the practical effect of a full ban.

The ruling prohibits law enforcement from enforcing the concealed carry ban temporarily while the constitutionality of the ban continues to be argued in court.

“This is a victory for Second Amendment rights and has real implications for the safety of law-abiding citizens,” said Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. “The Supreme Court has held that the Second Amendment protects the core right of self-defense in the home, but as the District Court reaffirmed, that right is just as important to ordinary citizens commuting to work or shopping for groceries in an unsafe neighborhood.”

Have thoughts on this case? Tell us what you’re thinking in the comments section!

7 thoughts on “Judge Rules Against D.C.’s ‘Good Reason’ Licensing Standard”

  1. I for one am getting very intolerant of the few forcing their views on the many. We are supposed to be a democracy yet we have mayors, governors, and even the idiot we can president telling us we cannot do various things simply because they think we shouldn’t. They have no facts to back their decisions yet they can force that opinion upon all of us, even when we as a country do not agree with them. Why won’t people stand up for themselves? Why haven’t we impeached the idiot in the White House?

    Stand up America and voice your opinion. Do not let the few run over you.

  2. I agree whole heartedly!
    I’m so tired of the BS is makes my blood pressure skyrocket just thinking about it.
    The real problem is that we the majority don’t have time, or don’t think it will affect us so we let little bits go by instead of diligently standing watch over our rights.
    In the interest of “political correctness” or fear of being “that guy” who is spot lighted as intolerant because we don’t agree, we look the other way.
    We have let the net that protects our freedoms be nipped, snipped, and snagged to the point it is now in the same horrible shape as the fishnet pantyhose that most street corner hookers wear!
    So, now the We The People are just ratty subjects suckling at the intitlements of the system we allowed to come into existence. I only pray that the system isn’t damaged so badly that we can still wake up, stand up, and vote the correct representatives into the political offices to fix this capped up country.

    I say good on this judge. This is a big WIN for the good guys!
    It should be a crime that the public officials in our nation’s capital even allowed this violation of our Constitution come to pass!

  3. This has to mess with the minds of the Liberals. They want to protect Sodomites and help push their agenda. Now the Sodomites are turning their backs on the Liberals, by wanting to have their 2nd amendment rights as an American held high for all to see.

  4. I wish someone would take the State of California to court to fight the laws they are trying to pass now.

  5. I for one am glad to see at least a temporary stop to this idiocy. i am 99% sure the “reason” that D.C. had for their “law” was because of fear. fear that someone from the general population would shoot an “elite” politician. the result is because no one can defend themselves, they end up with one of the most violent cities in the country. I.M.O., it might do good to give SOME of these politicians something to worry about. not that I want to see anyone shot. but the few that do dastardly deeds hiding behind their job title KNOW that they should not be doing these things. so maybe this will give them a little something to think about the next time they think about doing something despicable. as far as the rest of the population of D.C. goes, as long as this stays in effect, you watch, the number of violent crimes will drop over time. it will unfortunately likely take a few citizens to take a stand, and defend themselves against a criminal to wake the city up. once the criminals know its no longer a free for all, then crime will start to drop. as far as this country being a DEMOCRACY, some of the people of this country need to go back to school. our country is NOT a democracy, its a REPUBLIC! and it requires its citizens to stand up, and make their voices known when they see something that is not right.

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