Guns and Gear

Court Strikes Down D.C.’s Ban On Carrying Handguns In Public

Scott Greer Contributor
Font Size:

In a measure that is likely to cause a fiery debate over gun laws in the nation’s capital, the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia struck down Washington’s ban on carrying handguns in public on Saturday.

The court based its decision in the case, titled Palmer v. District of Columbia, on the Supreme Court’s famous ruling in D.C. v. Heller that affirmed an individual’s right to possess a firearm under the Second Amendment.

“In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, 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,” read the statement of Judge Frederick Scullin Jr.

“Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional.”

The court’s decision — barring a likely challenge from the city — will allow eligible citizens to apply for open carry permits and thus, be able to carry their handguns in public.

It also eliminated the limitations that D.C. had placed that barred residents from owning “pistols not validly registered to the current registrant” until the city enacts licensing requirements that are consistent with “constitutional standards.”

The ruling further stipulated that the District cannot ban the carrying of handguns of qualified non-residents, in addition to qualified residents.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Alan Gura, was also the lawyer who successfully argued the Heller case before the Supreme Court and celebrated this latest victory on his blog shortly following the Saturday decision.

“With this decision in Palmer, the nation’s last explicit ban of the right to bear arms has bitten the dust,” Gura wrote.

[h/t Guns Save Lives]

Follow Scott on Twitter