D.C. carry ban ruled unconstitutional by Federal Judge

This past Saturday a federal judge overturned the District of Columbia’s ban on the carry of firearms outside the home.

In his 19-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. essentially said that due to recent landmark Supreme Court ruling, District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010), its beyond question that the right to keep and bear arms extends beyond the home.

“In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny,” wrote Scullin.

Attorney Alan Gura, representative for the five law-abiding plaintiffs who filed their suit way back in 2009, celebrated the victory but was quick to point out that an appeal from the District was likely.

“We won,” Gura, the lead attorney for the Second Amendment Foundation, told Emily Miller of Fox News. “I’m very pleased with the decision that the city can’t forbid the exercise of a fundamental constitutional right.”

“We’ll be happy to keep the fight going,” he added, in response to the looming appeal.

While the city ponders over whether to appeal the decision, officials have made moves to file for an emergency stay which would keep the ruling from taking effect, thus preventing law-abiding citizens from carrying outside the home.

Ted Gest, a spokesman for the D.C. attorney general, said that the pro-carry decision might not be in effect for long.

“Its time of effectiveness could be very short,” Gest told The Washington Post.

However, until a stay is put in place the permissive-carry ruling will be the law of the land in the nation’s capital.

As Judge Scullin wrote, the court “enjoins Defendants from enforcing the home limitations of [D.C. firearms laws] unless and until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

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