Washington, D.C., used to have one of the country’s strictest handgun laws…and one of the highest homicide rates. (The homicide rate has decreased in part because of gentrification. Now that residents can own guns, the rate will likely drop even lower.)
A group of fed-up citizens challenged these laws, and in 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the ban on handguns in the nation’s capital was unconstitutional.
The Second Amendment “protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.” The court added that a trigger-lock requirement violated the Constitution.
Last summer, the U.S. District Court ruled that the law against carrying handguns was also unconstitutional. The D.C. city council passed a law to authorize concealed carry permits. The district recently issued the first of these permits. From Fox:
“We’ve had 69 applications, of which three were canceled at the request of the applicant,” Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said. “So far eight licenses have been approved and issued.”
The eight people legally allowed to carry a gun within city limits represent about .00001 percent of the 646,449 people the Census Bureau estimates reside in the city…MPD spokeswoman Crump revealed that more applicants have been rejected by the department than have been approved.
Don’t be surprised to hear of more lawsuits — one from rejected applicants, and the other from residents challenging the requirements. D.C. adopted a “may issue” policy, rather than the less restrictive “shall issue.” Would-be carriers must pay $110 in application fees, undergo 18 hours of training, and prove the need to carry. A reminder:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”