Try as it might, the District of Columbia is not having good luck in its effort to statutorily keep law-abiding citizens from bearing arms.
You might recall that D.C.’s longstanding gun ban was struck down by the Supreme Court in its District of Columbia v Heller decision back in 2008. Of course, the D.C. politicos were none too happy about that, and have been aggressive in slowing to a crawl any attempts on the part of their constituents to functionally keep and bear firearms. Part of their effort at throwing up roadblocks included the institution of a “good reason” requirement when applying for a concealed carry license – when applying for the permit, applicants have been required to show “good reason” for wanting to carry a gun.
However, in a ruling that came down May 17, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled that the “good reason” requirement is “likely unconstitutional,” and that the right to bear arms enshrined in the Second Amendment includes the right to carry them outside of the home. In his decision, Judge Leon wrote, “The District’s understandable, but overzealous, 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.” In relating his decision, specifically, Leon further wrote, “Because the right to bear arms includes the right to carry firearms for self-defense both inside and outside the home, I find that the District’s ‘good reason’ requirement likely places an unconstitutional burden on this right.”
As you might imagine, the District is appealing this decision, so the rule stands, for now. However, based on the direction of these recent rulings, as well as the determined effort on the part of select individuals and groups to go after D.C.’s harsh gun laws, it may well be only a matter of time before District residents are actually able to keep and bear arms in accordance with the provisions of, you know, the Constitution of the United States.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr.