DC City Council to appeal concealed carry ruling

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DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

D.C. City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson told FOX 5’s Emily Miller on Thursday that he will appeal the July ruling by a federal judge striking down the District’s ban on concealed carry.

“The whole issue of the public carrying of a firearm is very complicated,” Mendelson said to Miller. “And I believe the executive and the attorney general will continue with the appeal.”

In his 19-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. essentially said that due to 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.

Following the ruling, the City Council was given until Oct. 22, 2014 to rewrite the District’s gun laws to enact some standard of concealed carry licensing, whether it be may-issue or shall-issue or constitutional carry.

“What the court said very clearly was that a complete 100-percent ban on anybody being able to get a license to carry a handgun was unconstitutional,” noted Mendelson. “But there’s a gray area between 100-percent ban and everybody can carry. And that’s what we’re working through.”

While it would be great if the District opted for permit-less carry or a shall-issue issuance standard, if one is to read between the lines of Mendelson’s comment, it appears that the Council will pursue a restrictive may-issue standard which would require an applicant to seek the approval of a law enforcement official before being allowed to carry.

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