Appellate Court Rules: D.C. Has No Good Reason for Gun Permit Requirement

Since losing a historic Supreme Court case in 2008 Washington D.C.’s leaders have gone out of their way to avoid complying. Despite that ruling stating gun ownership was a protected right, they have repeatedly tweaked their permit requirements in an effort to find a grey area that could be exploited with one goal in mind – removing lawful firearms from the Nation’s Capital. But on Tuesday, July 25th they were handed yet another loss.

When the Supreme Court ruled that D.C. must grant concealed carry permits to qualified residents many expected the city leaders to do the obvious and start issuing permits by the thousands. But, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, there are currently only 124 valid permits within the District. A far cry from the opening of the flood gates.

Why haven’t more residents obtained permits? Surely there are more than 124 people who fear for their safety in a city which experienced 3,360 violent crimes in 2016. The real reason is a requirement of the permit process requiring applicants to show “good reason” to obtain a carry permit. Unfortunately exercising your Constitutional Right is not considered a good reason.

Fortunately for the citizens of the city, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit did not agree with city leaders. In a 2-1 decision, the “good reason” requirement was deemed unconstitutional. Judge Thomas B. Griffith, joined by Judge Stephen F. Williams, wrote:

“The good-reason law is necessarily a total ban on most D.C. residents’ right to carry a gun in the face of ordinary self-defense needs…Bans on the ability of most citizens to exercise an enumerated right would have flunked any judicial test.”

Sadly it did not fail the judicial test administered by dissenting member Judge Karen Henderson, who stated the regulation was necessary for the face of the unique security challenges of our nation’s capital. Judge Henderson also believed restricting the right to carry a firearm in public could be infringed upon because owners could still have firearms in their homes.

Yes, pro-Second Amendment advocates have won another battle. But they have not yet won the war. D.C. officials still have the option of asking the complete Circuit to hear the case. If that were to happen there is no guarantee more members would not side with Judge Henderson, in which case the Supreme Court would once again need to step in. Even with the previous favorable ruling, every new case has the potential for a damaging loss for citizens’ rights.

D.C. officials and those in other anti-gun cities need to realize the 2nd Amendment IS a right, not a privilege, and that those wishing to exercise that right should not be blocked by politicians with a personal agenda. Regardless of which side of the gun debate citizens find themselves, they need to realize an attack on one right is a potential attack on all rights. Until this happens no one will ever be truly free and no right will be fully protected.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell
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