U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon on Tuesday ordered a preliminary injunction that stops the enforcement of a vital piece of Washington D.C.’s strict concealed carry law. The judge’s decision counters a prior judge’s opinion of the law earlier in the year, the Associated Press reports.
The plaintiffs in the case cite the D.C.’s “good reason” requirement for a law abiding resident of the District to be able to acquire a firearm as amounting to another gun ban.
Judge Leon stated in his ruling: “In Heller, the Supreme Court unequivocally asserted that ‘the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. The District’s understandable, but overly zealous, desire to restrict the right to carry in public a firearm for self-defense to the smallest possible number of law-abiding, responsible citizens is exactly the type of policy choice the justices had in mind. Because the right to bear arms includes the right to carry firearms for self-defense both in and outside the home, I find that the District’s ‘good reason’ requirement likely places an unconstitutional burden on this right.”
The Daily Caller reported last year that only 44 concealed carry permits were approved by the Metropolitan Police Department out of 206 applicants by September 2015.
Following the 2008 Supreme Court Heller decision, which mandated that a right to bear arms was an individual right, the District of Columbia was forced to lift its decades long gun ban and create a concealed carry process for its residents.
However, the Washington D.C. City Council quickly enacted numerous requirements for those wanting a permit in the District, including needing a “good reason” to have a legal firearm.
In this case, Matthew Grace and the pro-Second Amendment organization the Pink Pistols argued that the concealed carry requirement, which says that a DC resident must demonstrate “a good reason to fear injury to his or her person or property” or “any other proper reason for carrying a pistol” is unconstitutional.
Robert Marus, a spokesman for the District of Columbia attorney general’s office, believed it was “very likely” that Judge Leon’s ruling would be appealed, “so that we can go back to enforcing our law.”