Meet The Guy Carrying A Gun Around The National Mall [VIDEO]

Tristyn Bloom Contributor
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Stephen Gutowski said he was excited to exercise his rights for the first time since he moved to the D.C. area five years ago — so he grabbed his pistol and headed to the National Mall.

Gutowski, a reporter for the Capitol City Project who also hosts the webcast “Games & Guns,” has a concealed carry license in the state of Virginia, where he lives. That license wasn’t valid in the District of Columbia, however — until Saturday, when a U.S. District Court struck down the capitol’s ban on carrying handguns in public, ruling it unconstitutional. The ruling allows registered gun owners to carry handguns openly or concealed. (RELATED: Court Strikes Down D.C.’s Ban On Carrying Handguns In Public)

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier ordered her officers not to arrest anyone carrying handguns in public starting Sunday. To make sure he wouldn’t have any trouble, Gutowski brought copies of both the ruling and the police chief’s statement with him.

Gutowski said that while he lives in Virginia, he often has to go into the District for work, so it’s a relief to know that he can now have his gun with him at all times. “Basically until today [I couldn’t carry my gun in] the most dangerous place I went on a daily basis.”

According to DC’s metropolitan police department, in 2012 alone 88 people were murdered and 236 raped citywide, with thousands of instances of robbery, burglary and aggravated assault.

Gutowski, who also enjoys skeet shooting in his spare time, was carrying a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield pistol, which he was careful to note only holds seven rounds. DC’s ban on “large capacity ammunition magazines” — magazines with over 10 rounds — is still in effect, as is the ban on assault weapons.


While Gutowski was enjoying his newly-recognized constitutional freedom, D.C. lawyers were busy filing a motion to stay the ruling, “to enable the Council of the District of Columbia to obtain public input and enact a compliant licensing mechanism.” According to the motion, the gun rights activists who originally brought the case do not oppose the stay.

“The public interest is not served by rushed legislation on a foundational public-safety issue or by allowing any and all ‘dangerous or deadly’ concealable weapons to be carried in public, without reasonable restrictions being imposed, during the pendency of any appeal and/or new legislation,” it reads.

Gutowski, who spoke to The Daily Caller earlier Monday afternoon, predicted such a move. “People should be aware that the law will definitely change pretty soon,” he said. “D.C. will likely pass a far more restrictive concealed carry law in the near future.”

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