Federal Court Declines to Hear Challenge to ‘Good Cause’ Ruling, Potentially Putting Issue on Path to SCOTUS

Make sure to check out Clay’s series: 9 Critical Concealed Carry Lessons.

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.”

Check out all of articles in the Fall edition of Long Range Shooting, GunsAmerica’s newest specialty publication.

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.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Colonialgirl October 9, 2017, 5:58 pm

    Somebody should tell those morons in Black Robes that the words “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” does not mean in the home or whenever they feel like writing a law for or against firearms and the American Citizen. The Constitution simply PROHIBITS the Federal or State Governments from making up laws,or requiring “permits” for open or concealed carry of WHAT type of firearm you want to own.

  • daddyvortex October 6, 2017, 10:12 pm


    Like Kurt Schlichter says: “I, for one, am not super inclined to give up my ability to defend myself in response to demands by people who eagerly tell me they want me enslaved or dead. Literally dead.”

    In D.C. that won’t get you a permit unless you know the right people. There’s a nice catchphrase in an Ohio statute giving an affirmative defense to a concealed weapons charge as you’re facing such threats “as would justify a prudent man in going armed.” Very 18th-19th century.

  • SGT-N October 6, 2017, 12:37 pm

    Finally, a federal appellate court with some big brass ones!

  • Dan K October 6, 2017, 10:44 am

    The fifth vote (as well as 4 more!) should not be a problem IF THE SUPREME COURT WOULD DO THEY JOB THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO DO AND RULE ON THE BASIS OF THE CONSTITUTION and not their own political biases! The cases should not be decided based on what is in the news, who if offering bribes of any kind, who your friends are, what your political bent is or anything else!

  • Mark N. October 4, 2017, 1:44 am

    D.C. is faced with an uncomfortable conundrum. In the one hand, its City Council and its City Counsel are adamantly against allowing the carriage of firearms in city limits; the law that was struck down specifically provided that living in one of he City’s crime ridden bad neighborhoods was not a sufficient reason for issuance of a permit. On the other hand, several states (Ma., Md., NY and Ca.) will undoubtedly pressure the City to NOT seek cert–as an affirmation of the order by the Supreme Court would necessarily undermine the laws in the remaining 8 “may issue” jurisdictions. And obviously, the states do not want THAT to happen.
    So what are the odds that the City files for cert with the Supremes? The City has been dragged kicking and screaming to this point. As many already know, the City had an absolute ban on keeping firearms in a readily usable condition, instead requiring that the gun be secured and dismantled, with the ammunition to be stored in a separate secure location. Neither the D. C. Circuit nor the Supreme Court (Heller) approved of that law. So he next step was an attack on the concealed carry ban. The City had no provision to issue licenses, and again, a lawsuit concluded that it could not completely ban the bearing of firearms. so the City wrote the strictest “may issue” law its little minds could come up with, borrowing provisions from all over the place, and all designed to make obtaining a CCW nearly impossible. (Making matters worse, the training requirement could not be met in town, since there is not a single shooting range or trainer in city limits).
    Again the law was challenged, in two separate cases. One judge upheld the law, the other did not, issuing an injunction against its operation. The City appealed–both cases were consolidated for that purpose–and lost big, the Circuit panel concluding that only “shall issue” met constitutional standards. To the surprise of many, including myself, not one of the 11 active judges–7 of whom were appointed by Democrats–voted to rehear the case en banc.
    With all due respect to Mr. Winkler, the Court is not bound to act, and it recently turned down an equally good case, Peruta v. Gore, in which the Ninth Circuit, en banc, concluded that there is NO right to a concealed weapons permit (a decision that explicitly ignored the fact that open carry is illegal in California). Thomas and Gorsuch think that it is time–but it is unclear if they have the five votes needed to overrule Peruta and affirm the D.C. Circuit. There shld be at least tow more votes from the Heller majority, but it is the fifth vote that is a real problem. Many think that justice Kennedy has cold feet on these cases, and may be disinclined to allow people anywhere and everywhere to carry concealed weapons on “no more than” a background check. Especially after Vegas.

Send this to a friend