In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled against a District regulation that severely limited the ability of an individual to obtain a concealed carry permit. Judge Thomas Griffith wrote for the majority, “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 to flunk any judicial test.”
John R. Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center noted that just 124 DC residents currently have concealed carry permits. He said, “If DC were like the 42 right-to-carry states, they would have about 48,000 permits. Right now DC prevents the most vulnerable people, particularly poor blacks who live in high crime areas of DC, from having any hope of getting a permit for protection.”
This is a definite win for Americans’ Second Amendment rights, but it may be short-lived. The District could appeal to the full DC Circuit Court of 11 judges, seven of whom are Democrat appointees. If the full court were to take on the appeal, it would most likely signal the other judges’ desire to reverse the three-judge panel’s ruling. With the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision to uphold San Diego’s limit on concealed carry permits and the Supreme Court’s refusal hear that appeal, a reversal by the full DC circuit might mean that SCOTUS would again refuse to entertain an appeal. However, if the decision holds, it would provide the circuit court split necessary for SCOTUS to take up the issue of concealed carry limits. Of course, there are a lot of assumptions here.
But not to get lost in possible future scenarios, this ruling is good news. It restores gun rights to residents of our nation’s capital, which is common sense especially in light of the targeted attack by a crazed leftist on congressional Republicans. Those living within the District have just as much of a right to self-defense as those who live in Texas.
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