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D.C. Gives Up Defending Total Ban on Carrying Firearms, Shifts to Defense of Near-Total Ban

Friday, April 3, 2015

D.C. Gives Up Defending Total Ban on Carrying Firearms, Shifts to Defense of Near-Total Ban

On April 2, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted the D.C.’s motion to voluntarily dismiss an appeal of the ruling that held the District’s ban on carrying a firearm outside the home for self-defense was unconstitutional.  The District’s decision not to continue the appeal ends one of the last outright bans on carrying firearms in the United States. 

While this marks the end of the District’s total ban, those wishing to lawfully carry firearms in D.C. still have a long way to go before all law-abiding individuals have a legal means of exercising their right to bear arms in the District.  Shortly after the ban was held unconstitutional last July, the D.C. council adopted a temporary law that makes it all but impossible to get a license to carry a concealed pistol.  A nearly identical version of that temporary law is still in effect, and a permanent version is under review by Congress and set to become law on May 30.

Plaintiffs in the case have attempted to enjoin the newly enacted D.C. carry law as contrary to the court’s order that required D.C. to create a licensing system that complies with the Second Amendment, but the court has yet to rule on the injunction.  Perhaps the best hope for recognition of the right to bear arms in the District was introduced in Congress last week by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and U.S. Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).   “The Second Amendment Enforcement Act of 2015” includes a “shall-issue licensing” system that would only allow the District to deny a license to individuals who fail a background check or who do not satisfy other objective criteria. (See related story.)

Please contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and urge them to cosponsor and support “The Second Amendment Enforcement Act of 2015.”

You can contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative by phone at (202) 224-3121 or by using our "Write Your Lawmakers" tool at www.NRAILA.org.

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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.