Court strikes down D.C. gun restriction

  • 26 July 2017
  • NormanL
Court strikes down D.C. gun restriction

A federal appeals court struck down a District of Columbia requirement that residents had to show good cause before they would be issued concealed carry permits. According to our friends at the Cato Institute, the court's 2-1 decision is a victory for gun rights. From the court's opinion:

At the Second Amendment’s core lies the right of responsible citizens to carry firearms for personal self-defense beyond the home, subject to longstanding restrictions. These traditional limits include, for instance, licensing requirements, but not bans on carrying in urban areas like D.C. or bans on carrying absent a special need for self-defense. In fact, the Amendment’s core at a minimum shields the typically situated citizen’s ability to carry common arms generally. The District’s good-reason law is necessarily a total ban on exercises of that constitutional right for most D.C. residents. That’s enough to sink this law under Heller I.


We are bound to leave the District as much space to regulate as the Constitution allows - but no more. Just so, our opinion does little more than trace the boundaries laid in 1791 and flagged in Heller I. And the resulting decision rests on a rule so narrow that good-reason laws seem almost uniquely designed to defy it: that the law-abiding citizen’s right to bear common arms must enable the typical citizen to carry a gun.

The ruling can, and very well may, be appealed to the full court, the bulk of whose members are Democratic appointees. There is also this to consider:

The case could also ultimately end up in front of the United States Supreme Court which, since its rulings in Heller (2008) and McDonald (2010), hasn’t seen fit to offer further guidance to lower courts on whether the 2nd Amendment applies outside the home.

We expect the litigation isn't over. However, we can take comfort that for the moment, common sense, and a proper reading of the landmark Heller case, has trumped would-be gun grabbers.