For a while there it was looking good for District of Columbia residents who were hoping to acquire a concealed handgun permit, but a recent injunction by the U.S. Court of Appeals means applicants are going to have to keep on waiting.
The order was issued by a three-judge panel Friday and essentially blocks the decision by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. to loosen the district’s overly strict rules governing concealed-carry handgun permitting.
The crux of the case rests in the defining of “good reason” or “proper cause.” Most Second Amendment proponents argue that the basic need for self-protection is more than adequate, but the District of Columbia currently requires applicants prove they have a “special need for self-protection” or that they are engaged in a “type of employment that requires the handling of cash or other valuable objects that may be transported upon [their] person.”
According to Judges David S. Tatel, Patricia Ann Millet, and Janice Rogers Brown, the purpose of the administrative stay is meant only to allow the courts ample time to consider Scullin’s order, not to act as a ruling.
Scullin, who has been championing looser regulations for concealed handgun permits, said last May that “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.”
If the U.S. Court of Appeals decides to overturn Scullin’s law, the rate of approved concealed carry handgun permits in the district will remain abysmally low. However, if they decide to keep the new law, the District of Columbia will likely see a massive influx of armed citizens.