DC Attorney General Announced He Will Give Up Ban On Carrying Handguns

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Washington, D.C. is dropping its appeal to a federal court ruling that overturned a ban on publicly carrying handguns in the city, Attorney General Karl Racine said in a statement Wednesday.

Racine said his office will instead focus on defending the district’s current handgun laws, which were passed by the DC Council last year.

“Going forward, our energies are best spent focusing on defending the current law. We are vigorously defending it in the district court, and we are confident that it will be upheld,” Racine said in the statement.

In July of last year, a U.S. District Court judge declared the ban on carrying handguns in public was unconstitutional, and until Wednesday, district lawyers have been fighting the ban in court. Until the law was overturned, gun owners in D.C. could only legally possess the guns in their homes.

Under the gun law passed by the council last year, D.C. residents can apply for permits to carry concealed weapons, but many people are saying it is too difficult to get the permits, and are also challenging that law in court.

The permitting scheme requires D.C. residents to have an explicit reason why they need to carry a gun and show a current and immediate threat to their safety and property. The problem, though, gun advocates say, is that the permitting process sometimes takes months to complete.

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