Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

D.C. Council Thumbs Nose at Federal Court and Gun Owners, Proposes Restrictive “May-Issue” Concealed Carry Licensing Regime

Friday, September 19, 2014

In response to the District’s ban on carrying handguns being declared unconstitutional in July, this week the D.C. Council released a bill to create a licensing system to carry a concealed pistol.  While the Council claims that the bill is intended to comply with Judge Frederick J. Scullin’s opinion holding D.C.’s ban to be unconstitutional, a closer inspection of the bill reveals that the practical effect of the bill may be very similar to the District’s current outright ban on carrying firearms. 

To start, issuance of a license to carry a pistol would be left to the discretion of the Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.  While in some “may-issue” jurisdictions it’s possible for most law-abiding people to get a license, the bill makes clear that only applicants with a “special need” would be granted a license. 

Under the bill, prospective applicants would face a number of hurdles just to complete the application.  At a minimum, an applicant would have to be at least 21 years of age, meet the already burdensome requirements for registering a firearm in the District, not have “suffered in the previous 5 years from any mental illness or condition that creates a substantial risk that he or she is a danger to himself or others,” complete a firearms training course from an approved instructor that is at a minimum 16 hours in length (including a minimum of two hours of live-fire instruction), complete an in-person interview at MPD headquarters, and “follow any procedures the Chief may establish by rule.”  The training requirement in particular will be difficult for District residents (especially low-income resident) to meet given that there are no shooting ranges in the District open to the public.

Even if an applicant completed all of the above steps, MPD could still deny the applicant based on a government bureaucrat’s determination that the applicant does not “need” to carry a firearm.  And even if the MPD did issue the occasional license, the bill would also give MPD the authority to “limit the geographic area, circumstances, or times of the day, week, month, or year in which the license is effective.” 

These limitations would be in addition to the many places where firearms would remain prohibited even with a license. While too numerous to list, they would include: government buildings; schools, including “adjacent parking lots;” childcare facilities; hospitals and buildings “where medical or mental health services are the primary services provided;” public transportation vehicles, including Metro; public gatherings and special events that require a permit; “[t]he area around the White House, namely: between Constitution Avenue and H Street and between 15th and 17th Streets, all Northwest;” and “[w]ithin 1,000 feet … when a dignitary or high ranking official of the United States or a state, local, or foreign government is under the protection of the Metropolitan Police Department, or other law enforcement agency assisting or working in concert with it.” Private property would also generally be treated as a prohibited place under the bill unless a licensee has permission to carry a pistol from the owner or person in control of the property.

As if the bill itself is not bad enough, the Chief of MPD would be given broad authority to create further regulations governing the carrying of concealed pistols.  The bill even prompts the Chief to create certain regulations, including rules “[t]o establish the type and amount of ammunition that may be carried concealed by a licensee” and “[t]o establish the methods by which a pistol may be carried concealed including any standards for safe holstering.”  While it’s obvious that the first of these requests for rulemaking is meant to further limit a licensee’s defensive options, the council’s intent with the second request is unclear.  It seems unlikely that MPD would create a rule governing when, where, or how a licensee could holster his or her pistol or a rule with a list of approved holsters, but those seem to be the only options that would fit within the language of the request for rulemaking.   

Given the numerous and unprecedented hurdles to acquiring a license under the bill, the fact that MPD would have essentially unfettered discretion in deciding whether or not to issue a license, and that so much of the District would remain off limits to carry even to a licensee, the city council has shown that its real intent with this bill is to continue the status quo of denying law-abiding citizens their right to bear arms within the District. 

With the continued obstreperousness from the Council, the best option for true recognition of the right to bear arms in the District is intervention by Congress, which maintains ultimate constitutional authority over the District’s affairs.  We encourage you to contact your members of Congress and urge them to support the Second Amendment Enforcement Act.    

TRENDING NOW
Outrage of the Week: Shopify Targets America's Guns

News  

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Outrage of the Week: Shopify Targets America's Guns

Hundreds of firearms retailers may have to close soon because a powerful Canadian tech company, Shopify, recently decided it was anti-gun and issued an ultimatum: Do business our way or not at all.

Divided Appeals Panel Upholds California Ban on Post-2013 Pistols

News  

Friday, August 10, 2018

Divided Appeals Panel Upholds California Ban on Post-2013 Pistols

Imagine if California, to combat what the legislature considered the serious problem of manmade global warming, required all new vehicles sold by car dealers in the state to run on grass clippings, rather than fossil ...

King County Unveils “Common Sense” Action Plan: Ban “Semi-automatic, High Velocity Weapons”

News  

Friday, August 10, 2018

King County Unveils “Common Sense” Action Plan: Ban “Semi-automatic, High Velocity Weapons”

In a July 23rd op-ed, Joe McDermott, the Council Chair of King County, Washington, introduced a multi-prong “King County Gun Safety Action Plan” aimed at reducing gun violence.

NoFundMe: NRA Protest March Nets $70 in National Fundraising Effort

News  

Friday, August 10, 2018

NoFundMe: NRA Protest March Nets $70 in National Fundraising Effort

Crowd funding is a relatively recent innovation that allows a person or cause to leverage the vast reach of the Internet to raise money for virtually every imaginable purpose. Even small donations of a few ...

Canada: Toronto Mayor Calls for Gun Bans, Ontario Premier Targets Criminals

News  

Friday, August 10, 2018

Canada: Toronto Mayor Calls for Gun Bans, Ontario Premier Targets Criminals

Canadian anti-gun politicians’ campaign to disarm law-abiding citizens continued this week. On Monday, the Canadian press reported on an August 3 letter from Toronto Mayor John Tory to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In the missive, Tory appeared to back ...

NRA Endorses Hyde-Smith for U.S. Senate

News  

Monday, August 13, 2018

NRA Endorses Hyde-Smith for U.S. Senate

FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) announced on Monday its endorsement of Cindy Hyde-Smith to represent Mississippi in the U.S. Senate. 

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Adventures in Correlation

News  

Friday, August 10, 2018

Adventures in Correlation

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut recently linked to a news article about a CDC report on homicides, claiming that “allowing more guns in more places isn’t making us safer. It’s doing the opposite.”

NRA Statement on 3-D Printers and Plastic Firearms

News  

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

NRA Statement on 3-D Printers and Plastic Firearms

FAIRFAX, Va.— Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, released the following statement on Tuesday:  

Schumer Goes Full Semi-automatic

Gun Laws  

News  

Friday, July 27, 2018

Schumer Goes Full Semi-automatic

Everybody knows you never go full semiautomatic. That is, except Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and his anti-gun comrades. On July 22, the Senate minority leader decided to fear-monger about homemade 3D-printed firearms following a Justice Department settlement that will ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.