Over a decade ago, a group of citizens challenged D.C.’s handgun ban, in effect since 1976. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the ban was unconstitutional. The court contended that 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.”
Last summer, a court ruled that the law against carrying handguns was also unconstitutional. After lifting the ban, the government made it difficult for residents to carry, requiring them to provide a “good reason” for obtaining a permit, such as a documented threat to life. Apparently, “Because it’s my constitutional right” wasn’t good enough. In February, a pro-Second Amendment group filed suit against the government, calling the concealed carry permit law too restrictive.
The Second Amendment foundation reported that on Monday, a court issued a preliminary injunction against the government’s “good reason” requirement. An excerpt:
Judge Scullin further wrote in his 23-page opinion that the District’s “good reason/proper reason” requirement “has far more than a ‘de minimis’ effect on [their] rights it completely bars the right from being exercised, at all times and places and in any manner, without exception” and that the requirement “impinges on Plaintiff’s Second Amendment right to bear arms.’
“This is a devastating loss for the District and its anti-gun-rights policy,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We’re delighted with the judge’s ruling, because once again, the court has thwarted the District’s blatantly obvious effort to discourage the exercise of Second Amendment rights by forcing permit applicants to jump through a series of hoops and then frustrate them by requiring an arbitrary ‘good reason’ for the exercise of a constitutionally-protected civil right.”
It’s disheartening that we have to fight this hard to protect two enumerated rights: exercise of religion and bearing arms.
Photo credit: License Photographybyjw (Creative Commons)