On Wednesday, District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine announced that his office would ask the US Court of Appeals to dismiss their appeal of Palmer v. DC. That decision in that case forced the District of Columbia to start issuing carry permits.
“We need to focus our energies not on litigating old laws, but defending new ones that our leaders enacted
in good faith to comply with court rulings while still protecting public safety,” Attorney General Racine said.
“The Council enacted a law that sets a process by which individuals may apply for gun licenses, which has
superseded the law at issue in Palmer v. District of Columbia. Going forward, our energies are best spent
focusing on defending the current law. We are vigorously defending it in the district court, and we are
confident that it will be upheld.”
The new carry laws that the DC Council “enacted in good faith” (sic) are so onerous and so draconian that the Second Amendment Foundation filed a second lawsuit. DC took as their model Maryland who has a “good cause” requirement.
The Second Amendment Foundation is pleased with their victory but note that it isn’t over yet. They still have pending motions before US District Court Judge Frederick Scullin over the enforcement of his decision in addition to Wrenn et al v. DC.
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation will continue fighting the District of Columbia’s new concealed carry law, while notching a small victory with today’s decision by the city to drop its appeal of SAF’s victory in the Palmer case that forced the city to adopt a carry permitting structure.
“While we’re happy to see the city drop their appeal of our earlier victory,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “we were eager to face them in court, as there was no possible way they could have successfully argued in favor of continuing an outright ban on carry in the District.
“This is one more critical Second Amendment Foundation victory for gun rights,” he added. “But we will continue to keep suing the city of Washington, D.C. over their new carry law that is still an unconstitutional infringement on our Second Amendment rights.”
Under the District’s newly-adopted law, permit applicants must still provide a good reason for carrying a protective firearm outside the home, and the police chief gets to decide whether that reason is valid. So far, only a handful of applicants have been approved, and Gottlieb said that shows a fundamental flaw in such a discretionary permitting scheme.
“No public official should enjoy that kind of sway over a citizen’s right to bear arms,” Gottlieb stated. “It creates a manifestly unfair system that is wide open to abuse and favoritism, as we’ve seen in New York, California and elsewhere that insiders and elitists can get permits, but average citizens are routinely given second-class consideration, or no consideration at all.”
This is not the end of the Palmer case, however. SAF still has outstanding enforcement motions pending before U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr., who handed down the initial Palmer ruling. His rulings on those motions could produce further appeals, SAF attorney Alan Gura explained. SAF has already filed a lawsuit challenging the District’s current highly-restrictive “good reason” requirement.
“Our intent is to continue our battle for the right to bear arms on behalf of all the citizens, not just a privileged few,” Gottlieb concluded.
One thing I did notice in DC Attorney General’s release was the Congress has until May to disapprove the Council’s permanent legislation concerning concealed carry. I’m not sure where that stands but Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) have introduced the Second Amendment Enforcement Act of 2015 which would remove the power of the DC Council to enact gun control legislation. The bill also includes shall-issue carry permits, the ability of DC residents to purchase firearms in Maryland and Virginia, and repeal the firearms registration system.
One way or another the District is going to be dragged kicking and screaming into recognizing the Second Amendment just like the South was over civil rights and integration. And just like the South, the District will attempt to do it with all due deliberate speed if their new mayor is any indication.