Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Could Pro-Gun Ruling In Washington DC Spread To Other Jurisdictions?

Following a federal judge’s ruling that Washington D.C.’s concealed carry system violates the Second Amendment, some are saying the end could be near for similar may-issue schemes across the country – even in places like New York City and Maryland.

Last week, federal judge Frederick J. Scullin issued preliminary injunction against the concealed carry system in the District of Columbia, saying the process “makes it impossible for the overwhelming majority of law-abiding citizens to obtain licenses to carry handguns in public for self-defense, thereby depriving them of their Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

The permit process in Washington D.C. requires residents to prove a “good reason” for owning a gun before acquiring one for self-defense. It was recently reported that the city police department turns down more applications than it grants.

Similarly restrictive laws are in place in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland and a number of other states. If last week’s ruling holds – the District of Columbia filed a request to stay the order yesterday – could this mean the end for may-issue laws everywhere?

The answer is probably not – unless the case goes to the Supreme Court. Judges in most may-issue states have upheld the constitutionality of the laws, and last week’s ruling doesn’t provide enough grounds to challenge them.

But if the case goes the Supreme Court and the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, the local laws would be struck down.

There is some chance that this could happen. The Attorney General in the District of Columbia has reportedly hinted that he will appeal last week’s ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which could send the case to the Supreme Court.

If the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, it would provide a strong enough legal precedent to strike down may-issue schemes everywhere.

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