Skip to main content

Federal Judge: D.C. Gun Carry Ban Unconstitutional

Federal Judge: D.C. Gun Carry Ban Unconstitutional

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.

Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look

Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look

Small, lightweight and purpose-built for sub-compact carry guns, Surefire's XSC pistol light takes on EDC illumination segment.

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don't Lie: 9mm vs .45 ACP

The age-old question, 9mm vs .45 ACP. For some, this has been asked and answered already. For others, the debate goes on. In this segment of “Cameras Don't Lie,” competitive shooters Patrick Sweeney and Jim Tarr head to the range to put the vaunted loads on record, and then consider the footage.

Guns & Ammo TV: Shooting 1,270 Yards with the 5.56 NATO

Guns & Ammo TV: Shooting 1,270 Yards with the 5.56 NATO

Guns & Ammo Rifles & Optics Editor Tom Beckstrand was on location in Idaho where he pushed the limits of the 5.56 NATO cartridge in this segment of “Long Range Tech” for Guns & Ammo TV. Pairing a SIG Sauer MCX Virtus rifle loaded with Hornady's 73-grain ELD-M ammunition, Beckstrand attempted to ring steel set at 1,270 yards, an incredible distance for any 5.56-chambered rifle and beyond the typical range for an AR-15.

Cameras Don

Cameras Don't Lie: Subsonic 9mm vs. .300 Blackout

In this segment of "Cameras Don't Lie," a subsonic-ammo showdown, 9mm vs. .300 Blackout fired from AR rifles.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

In this segment of “At The Range,” Handgunning Editor Jeremy Stafford and contributor Patrick Sweeney compare the visibility of red and green lasers in outdoor, sunny conditions. Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light Accessories

Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light

Guns & Ammo Staff - August 24, 2020

In this segment of “At The Range,” Handgunning Editor Jeremy Stafford and contributor Patrick...

The Hornady 6.5 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge) is a 6.5 PRC - Magnumized 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle

6.5 PRC - Magnumized 6.5 Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand - August 01, 2018

The Hornady 6.5 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge) is a "magnumized" 6.5 Creedmoor. It offers...

Some guns are easier to work with than others, but the Ruger American Rifle doesn't require an engineering degree to tinker with; here's a look at some upgrade options to take your Ruger American to the next level, and make it something a bit different.Top Ruger American Rifle Upgrades Accessories

Top Ruger American Rifle Upgrades

Philip Massaro - March 15, 2018

Some guns are easier to work with than others, but the Ruger American Rifle doesn't require an...

In this segment of Air Gun Reviews: Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle Rifles

Air Gun Reviews: Ruger 10/22 Air Rifle

Guns & Ammo Staff - September 02, 2020

In this segment of "Guns & Ammo TV," Gun Tech Editor Richard Nance and Pro-Shooter Jim Tarr...

See More Trending Articles

More Industry

We all have mentors in life, but for many of us the most influential among them are our dads. As Father's Day approached, I found myself reflecting on my own.Father's Day Thoughts Industry

Father's Day Thoughts

Keith Wood - August 20, 2020

We all have mentors in life, but for many of us the most influential among them are our dads....

The Outdoor Sportsman Group (OSG) welcomes Joseph Kurtenbach as its newest editorial addition to Guns & Ammo. Joe Kurtenbach Joins Guns & Ammo Industry

Joe Kurtenbach Joins Guns & Ammo

Guns & Ammo Staff - July 20, 2020

The Outdoor Sportsman Group (OSG) welcomes Joseph Kurtenbach as its newest editorial addition...

From the National Shooting Sports Foundation.NSSF Q&A: Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)

NSSF Q&A: Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)

National Shooting Sports Foundation - July 23, 2020

From the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.NSSF: Modern Sporting Rifles and Today's Voter

NSSF: Modern Sporting Rifles and Today's Voter

Larry Keane - July 20, 2020

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

See More Industry

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now