D.C. Gun-Grabbers Lose Again, Federal Judge Junks ‘Good Cause’ Requirement

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Do I need to demonstrate to my chief of police “good cause” to exercise my right to free speech or freedom of religion?

Hell no! Then why the heck should anyone need to show “good cause” to exercise their right to keep and bear arms?

It’s a question that’s at the heart of the gun debate going on in our nation’s capital. This week, U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. scrapped D.C.’s “good cause” requirement for concealed carry. “Good cause” basically says that one needs to provide one’s local CLEO (Chief Law Enforcement Officer) with documentation to suggest that their life is in danger, e.g. restraining order, police reports of violent threat.

Judge Scullin, the same judge who overturned the District’s outright ban on concealed carry over a year ago, forcing the city council to adopt an issuing standard, wrote the following:

This conclusion should not be read to suggest that it would be inappropriate for the District of Columbia to enact a licensing mechanism that includes appropriate time, place and manner restrictions on the carrying of handguns in public. The District of Columbia’s arbitrary ‘good reason’/’proper reason’ requirement, however, goes far beyond establishing such reasonable restrictions.”

“Rather, for all intents and purposes, this requirement makes it impossible for the overwhelming majority of law-abiding citizens to obtain licenses to carry handguns in public for self-defense, thereby depriving them of their Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

In a nutshell, “good cause” is unconstitutional.  Hence the injunction which prevents D.C. police from trying to enforce the “good cause” mandate.

For the plaintiffs in the case, who were represented by the Second Amendment Foundation, it was a big win. And for the gun-grabbers who run D.C. it was a painful loss, as SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb noted in a press release.

“This is a devastating loss for the District and its anti-gun-rights policy,” said 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.”

Gottlieb explained that attorneys for both sides were ordered to appear for a court conference on July 7 to “discuss an expedited schedule for the resolution of this case.”

“You can’t ask for more than that,” Gottlieb said.

As far as a ruling is concerned, Gottlieb is right on. You can’t ask for more than that. But as far as an outcome, well, let’s just say that this fight isn’t over yet. The D.C. attorney general may decide to appeal the ruling.

“We are reviewing the ruling; however, we believe that the law passed by the Council is constitutionally valid,” OAG spokesperson Robert Marus told the Washington Free Beacon.

Generally speaking, it would appear that the days of ‘may-issue’ concealed carry laws (those that require “good cause) are numbered. While they still exist in a number of states, counties in New York and California, for example, overwhelmingly the tide has shifted to ‘shall-issue’ laws that typically require just a background check, some number of firearms training and a fee. These laws pass Constitutional muster, whereas the may-issue laws are problematic for obvious reasons — as I pointed out at the outset of the article.

Hopefully the Supreme Court will finally render a judgment on this issue and put the matter to bed once and for all. But we’ll have to wait and see.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Unlisted coat June 10, 2016, 6:04 am

    Then the natural argument is, if I don’t need a cause to carry a concealed weapon. Why under the 2nd amendment do I need a license?

  • Mark Tercsak June 12, 2015, 11:06 am

    It is stated their are several original versions of the 2nd Amendment, to the Constitution, all same the same it is a question of capitalization and punctuation , This is how the Bolsheviks attack the 2nd Amendment and those who believe in it, they make use of the Capitalization and punctuation argument. The fact is there really is only one true official 2nd Amendment and that is the one that was Ratified by the Respective States in Which “We The People Reside”, and by Thomas Jefferson, The Secretary Of State, Of The United States Of America.
    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.

    The last four words, two the second Amendment , are in fact the most important in my judgement, “shall not be infringed”. The last word, is the most important of all, “infringed”, which means: 1: violate, Transgress 2: Encroach, Trespass – infringement.

    It is my belief that any and all legislative bodies from the United States Congress, down to the town council are infact prohibited from regulating (Arm’s) not only are they prohibited from regulating them, they are also prohibited from taxing them for taxation is a form of regulation !

    I believe if the right Constitutional Argument is raised the United States Supreme court would strike down all Twenty Thousand plus gun laws and taxes.

    • Lee June 15, 2015, 7:37 am

      I totally agree. Could you imagine the reaction if any other constitutional right covered in the Bill of Rights required such burdens on the individual citizen? Imagine if we had to pay a tax anytime we were in public and wanted to express an opinion or objection to those in power? The framers felt so strong about our collective (the military) and individual right to self defense, that they made it the Second Amendment, not third, fourth, or fifth, etc., but right behind freedom of speech, religion, the press. And can you imagine why? Not only as a means of self defense, but also to guarantee that the rights enumerated in the First Amendment are protected by the Second Amendment, a safeguard against tyranny.

  • S. Velez May 29, 2015, 4:16 pm

    Well I guess we the USA citizens of the Territory of Puerto Rico are not alone with the stupidity of some’s politics . Yes here we have many of those!!

  • Scott May 28, 2015, 12:01 am

    I’m beginning to see a pattern here. With rulings favoring the right to keep and bear arms, including the right to carry in public, how much longer will current policies of background checks hold for the anit-gun crowd. We are on the downhill side of the argument to keep and bear arms, but the laws as currently written do not follow the logical sequence but bear ill for the anti-gun lobby. Think about it, we have the right to keep and bear arms, yet we must first obtain the permission of the state (via background check) to get the guns we are entitled to by law to have and hold. Sure this will be a slow process where district by district, county by county, state by state, everyone will be forced to allow concealed carry access and ownership of guns – literally we’ll have to tear gun bans from the cold dead fingers of the anit-gun lobby one city & state at a time. However, at some point there will a disparity of constitutional rights to equal application of the law, and the anti-gun lobby’s position on the restriction of who can public carry & right to keep and bear arms will crumble. At that point, by what logic or or extension of legal reasoning will governments’ right to determine who may access and obtain guns under the 2nd amendment will be without foundation. In all likelihood the argument will shift to mental illness and previous convictions of violence wherein all are presumed eligible to pursue their rights to keep and bear arms unless the state can produce a preponderance of data to withdraw or withhold temporarily the right to keep or bear arms- the opposite of the current standard which is you are presumed un-eligible to exercise your right to keep and bear arms until you can produce a preponderance of evidence of eligibility and bans are considered permanent. So cheer up – this is another brick in the wall.!

  • Kalashnikov Dude May 26, 2015, 12:39 pm

    Does anybody else get get it? Sitting here, watching lawyers and judges niggle out the details of gun restrictions trying to clarify the minute difference between SHALL or MAY issue for purposes of a license the governing authority is so kind to issue so we can exercise our 2nd Amendment rights? Great, it looks like the good judge has come to the correct conclusion. But what gall does he have to even hear a case that should not have to exist because the fact of the matter is the highest law of our land guarantees our right to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED! For God sake the author of the headline here must be dense! They actually went with “impinged”! This BS does not IMPINGE! It’s a freaking infringement you numbskulls! I am so sick of lawyers and judges spending so much of our money and tying up so much of our resources for this nonsense. Here’s the way things work for me from now on. My rights, 2nd Amendment or otherwise shall not be infringed. Any dumb motherf***er who tries, will get swift justice. Not that kind of fake circumstance and pomp kind of take your hat off and stand for the so called honorable judge kind of justice that costs millions and misses the forest for the trees in their eyes kind of justice. If they want to find out just what that means they can try me. I’m fed up with this crap. People burn neighborhoods down over far less these days.

  • Richard W. Sands May 26, 2015, 9:28 am

    And now…what about the adjacent State of Maryland? Not only do you have to show a “good and substantial reason” to carry a handgun but you have to have a “Handgun Qualification License”, and, among other things, complete 16 hours of handgun training by a MD State Police approved instructor. Then…incredibly enough…you have to sign a “Maryland Department of Police Authorization for Release of Information” which allows the Police to receive “full and complete disclosure” of the records of educational institutions, financial or credit institutions, retail establishments, medical and hospital establishments, employment records, background investigation reports, results of polygraph examinations, etc., etc. etc.
    The form also requires the applicant to “indemnify and hold harmless the person to whom this request is presented and his agents and employees from and against all claims, damages, losses….arising out of or by reason of complying with this request”.
    In short, in Maryland, the applicant for a concealed carry permit must surrender privacy rights to ALL aspects of his life and allow the MD State Police to do whatever they what with your most personal and private information.

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