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Federal Judge: D.C. Gun Carry Ban Unconstitutional

by G&A Online Editors   |  July 27th, 2014 10

On July 26, 2014, a landmark decision by a federal judge in the District of Columbia (D.C.) struck down the Capitol’s ban on carrying firearms outside the home.

Judge Frederick J. Sculin Jr. referenced the Supreme Court decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010) when ruling on Palmer v. District of Columbia, which has remained in court system for the past five years.

In 2009, D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier denied Plaintiff Tom G. Palmer’s handgun registration application on the grounds that he intended to use the handgun for protection outside his home. Palmer’s application was subsequently approved for home-defense purposes only. Four plaintiffs including Palmer and the Second Amendment Foundation then filed a suit against the city.

Judge Sculin effectively restored the right-to-carry outside the home in D.C. when he concluded, “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.”

Serving as a milestone for gun rights, the ruling essentially orders the nation’s capitol to allow residents and non-residents to carry firearms in public for self-defense.

Judge Sculin went on to declare that his court, “enjoins defendants from enforcing the home limitation of [D.C. firearms laws] unless and until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

Though the decision immediately overrides D.C.’s handgun ban, it is expected the case will also reach the United States Court of Appeals, where overrule is unlikely due to the supporting precedents established by similar court judgments.


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  • world wide REB

    any body up for an open carry march in front of the white house? :)

  • Tom Detty

    REB, we don’t need to over react and make the wrong kind of statement. But I am overjoyed that we can or will be able to carry in one more district of our great nation.

  • toothii

    It affirms a basic Constitutional right that needs to be fully recognized throuhout the country! The liberal attacks on the 2nd Amendment need to be stopped. As for me, they can start in NYS!

  • Rob Campbell

    This is a step in the right direction.

  • samiam

    I live in San Jose, CA. and they will not allow open or issue CCW permits. Any recommendations on how I can leverage this decision? The local sheriff ignores any requests and they just sit on a desk for months.

    • MrSottobanco

      Contact the Second Amendment Foundation and have them sue them. You could be their plaintiff.

  • Shayla Striffler

    Now the politicians have a real reason to fear their constituents. No more la la land in DC where politicians think they are better than everybody else.

  • Doc

    As good as it seems we all know there will be a protracted battle as the liberals and progressives intend to create as inflexible and as obstructive a “carry law” as they can. The simple truth is the people we have elected (over and over and over again) do NOT trust its citizens with guns. They absolutely hate that we have the right and the means to keep them in check; at least up to the coup executed by King Obama. We are not far from having to use our liberties as the founders envisioned. They knew some day corrupt and power hungry politicians would seek to control (dictate to) the people. That day has come. All we need now is a man of vision and a few good men with the courage to take back the nation.

  • Frank H. Deery


  • Trapped in Marylandistan

    Don’t count your chickens. The circuit court upheld Maryland’s unconstitutional restrictions by disregarding strict scrutiny, and insisting that they could disgregard other precedents.

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