A pro-Second Amendment organization filed a lawsuit against the District of Columbia Tuesday. The group contends the jurisdiction’s concealed carry permit application requirement is too restrictive. D.C. mandates that a person must have a “good reason” for such a permit to be issued. Every application, save a few, has been rejected.
The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) filed a federal lawsuit against the D.C. government along with three private citizens: Brian Wrenn, Joshua Akery, and Tyler Whidby. Wrenn and Akery live in the District, while Whidby lives in Florida, though maintains a residence in Virginia, according to an SAF press release.
“[I]ndividuals cannot be required to prove a ‘good reason’ or ‘other proper reason’ for the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms,” the lawsuit argues.
Both the D.C. government and Kathy Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, are named as defendants in the suit. “The city’s requirements to obtain a carry permit are so restrictive in nature to be prohibitive to virtually all applicants,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb.” “It’s like a ‘Catch 22,’ in which you can apply all day long, but no reason is sufficiently good enough for Chief Lanier to issue a permit.” In their research, Gottlieb’s organization found less than 10 concealed carry permits have been issued in D.C.
Because of that, the city has set the bar so high that it relegates a fundamental civil right to the status of a heavily-regulated government privilege.
That is not only wrong, it also does not live up to the previous court rulings. Law-abiding citizens who clear background checks and are allowed to have handguns in their homes are being unnecessarily burdened with the additional requirement of proving some special need.
As reporter Leo Hohmann points out, D.C. is a “may issue” jurisdiction, as are some traditionally Democratic states, like New York. Traditionally red states like Georgia and Texas, on the other hand, are what are known as “shall issue” jurisdictions.
Photo credit: MMR Dad (Creative Commons)
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.