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D.C. Concealed Carry Applications Surge Following Court’s Lifting of “Good Reason” Requirement

Friday, December 15, 2017

D.C. Concealed Carry Applications Surge Following Court’s Lifting of “Good Reason” Requirement

FBI figures show surging interest in concealed carry licenses in the nation’s capital following a recent court ruling that effectively ended D.C.’s discretionary licensing regime. 

D.C. officials decided not to appeal the ruling in early October. That month, the FBI ran 217 background checks for D.C. residents, two-thirds of them in connection with concealed carry license applications. By contrast, only one-licensed related check was run in September, and no one had applied for a concealed carry license at all during the previous October.

The surge then continued in November, with 75% of the city’s record 365 National Instant Criminal Background Check System queries run for concealed carry licenses.  

D.C.’s concealed carry requirements remain strict and include 16 hours of mandatory training. It’s also unusually difficult for D.C. residents to acquire ownership of a handgun, beginning with the fact that there are no stocking firearm dealers anywhere within the District. 

But until October, it was virtually impossible for most D.C. residents to get a concealed carry license at all, even those with extensive firearms training, spotless backgrounds, and the willingness to jump through D.C.’s voluminous red tape. This was because D.C. had imposed a “good” or “proper” reason requirement that automatically disqualified applicants who simply wanted to carry a handgun for self-defense. 

Instead, applicants had to prove a “special need for self-protection distinguishable from the general community,” job duties requiring the transport of large amounts of cash or valuables, or the need to protect a close relative who cannot provide for his or her own special self-defense needs. Nearly 80% of otherwise qualified applicants were denied under this test, and incalculably more were discouraged from ever applying at all.

In July, a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the “good” or “proper” reason requirement was effectively a ban on bearing arms by people entitled to Second Amendment protection and barred its enforcement.The panel’s ruling came in the combined cases of Wrenn v. D.C. and Grace v. D.C.   

The District then asked the full D.C. Circuit to rehear the case, but the court denied the request in September. On October 5, the District effectively threw in the towel by deciding not to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

That hundreds have since braved D.C.’s remaining concealed carrying licensing bureaucracy underscores what pro-gun advocates have always maintained: that the “good” or “proper” reason requirement was not a “gun safety” law but merely a prior restraint on constitutionally-protected activity.

Unfortunately, eight U.S. states still have some variant on this requirement that allows licensing officials in those jurisdictions to deny concealed carry applications virtually at will, with no other alternative for lawful carry. Countless Americans who could satisfy the strictest objective licensing requirements are therefore denied their constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense. 

That is one reason why the NRA is so heavily invested in the passage of a national concealed carry reciprocity bill. NRA-backed legislation recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives that would ensure no state could arbitrarily deny law-abiding Americans the right to carry.

In the meantime, we hope that the growth of right-to-carry continues to expand exponentially in the nation’s capital. We look forward to the day when we can point to the successful implementation of shall-issue concealed carry in Washington, D.C. as the ultimate example of how good guys and gals with guns can be a force for good in any jurisdiction.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Duncan v. Becerra on Tuesday upholding a lower court’s decision to suspend enforcement of California’s restriction on the possession of magazines ...

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

News  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

Shortly before 4:00am last Saturday morning, the two week long Third Review Conference (RevCon3) on the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All ...

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Monday, July 16, 2018

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

On July 9th, the Seattle City Council passed a mandatory firearm storage ordinance to restrict the self-defense rights of Seattle residents.  The ordinance, if signed by Mayor Jenny Durkan, will impose a one-size-fits-all method of storing firearms as ...

Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

News  

Second Amendment  

Gun Laws  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

On July 9, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) offered the following ham-handed statement in an attempted attack on President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Brett Kavanaugh is a true Second Amendment radical. ...

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

On July 17th, Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 2354 and Senate Bill 3256 into law.

California DOJ Withdraws Proposed Regulations Expanding Application of “Assault Weapon” Definitions

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

California DOJ Withdraws Proposed Regulations Expanding Application of “Assault Weapon” Definitions

On Monday, the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms (“CA DOJ”) officially withdrew the proposed regulations that would have expanded the improperly adopted “assault weapon” definitions, to apply in all circumstances. This withdrawal comes ...

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.

NRA Endorses State Senator Leah Vukmir for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin

News  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

NRA Endorses State Senator Leah Vukmir for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin

FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is proud to announce its endorsement of state Sen. Leah Vukmir in the 2018 Republican U.S. Senate Primary in Wisconsin.

Too Young or Too Old... To Own a Gun?

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Friday, July 6, 2018

Too Young or Too Old... To Own a Gun?

A common theme among anti-gun extremists is what we often refer to as the “Goldilocks” approach to limiting access to firearms by law-abiding citizens.  Rather than admit that the ultimate goal is to disarm all ...

Delaware: Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Sunday Deer Hunting

Hunting  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Delaware: Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Sunday Deer Hunting

On July 11th, Governor John Carney signed Senate Bill 198 into law to expand hunting opportunities in Delaware by eliminating the prohibition against hunting for deer on Sundays and allowing for the harvesting of deer on Sundays ...

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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.