A full federal appeal’s court has declined to reconsider Washington, D.C.’s, concealed carry law, which could put the issue on a path to the Supreme Court.
A three-judge panel in July struck down D.C.’s “good reason” requirement for issuing concealed carry permits, ruling that the law was incompatible with the Second Amendment. The District appealed the ruling and requested the case be heard by the full court.
The court rejected the District’s appeal on Thursday, effectively upholding the previous ruling and striking down D.C.’s “good reason” requirement.
“We applaud the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for reaffirming the rights of ordinary, law-abiding citizens to carry firearms to protect themselves and their families in the District of Columbia,” said Chris Cox, Executive Director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. “The District’s draconian restrictions on core Second-Amendment rights are out of step with the mainstream protections in the rest of the country, and as the D.C. Circuit’s opinion shows, they are equally out of step with our Nation’s traditions and fundamental law.”
Other federal courts have reached different rulings, however, which could force the Supreme Court to act, according to the Washington Times.
“Sometimes the most important thing a court does is not do anything,” Adam Winkler, a University of California, Los Angeles, law professor told Fox News. “Because of what the D.C. Circuit didn’t do today, the Supreme Court is now far more likely to take a concealed carry case.”
The District’s “good reason” policy forced individuals to prove that they had a compelling reason to carry a weapon, such as being previously attacked or receiving death threats. The District argued crime would rise and people would die without such a law, despite the fact that 42 of 50 states and major cities like Chicago, Houston, Miami, and Philadelphia do not have a “good reason” requirement.
Pro-2A advocates argued that D.C.’s law made it nearly impossible for an individual to receive a concealed carry permit. As of June, D.C. police had granted 126 such permits and denied 417 since the law took effect in 2014, the Washington Post reported.
The Supreme Court ruled in D.C. v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to keep and bear arms in the home, but the ruling did not explicitly address the right to bear arms outside of the home. Federal courts have been divided on this issue, which generally calls for a ruling from SCOTUS.
The late Justice Antonin Scalia was one of the Court’s staunchest advocates of the Second Amendment, but his replacement, Justice Neil Gorsuch will likely maintain the bench’s pro-2A bent.