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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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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Washington: Vague Carry Ban and Rehashed Mag Ban Introduced and Scheduled for Hearings Next Week

Next week, anti-gun legislation, Senate Bill 5078 and Senate Bill 5038, are scheduled for hearings in the Senate Law and Justice Committee. 

“Unity” President Vows to “Defeat” America’s Oldest and Largest Civil Rights Group

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

“Unity” President Vows to “Defeat” America’s Oldest and Largest Civil Rights Group

Biden issued this “pledge” in a January 8 tweet that falsely tried to suggest the men and women of the NRA were somehow implicated in an infamous crime that was committed a decade ago by ...

Florida Alert! Gun Bills Filed in Florida - SO FAR

Friday, January 15, 2021

Florida Alert! Gun Bills Filed in Florida - SO FAR

As Legislators begin to file bills for the 2021 Florida Legislative Session, we are getting questions about various bills due to media reports on gun bills.  Below is a partial list of bills we will ...

President Trump’s Executive Order Expands LEOSA Carry Rights

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Thursday, January 21, 2021

President Trump’s Executive Order Expands LEOSA Carry Rights

On January 18th, President Trump signed an “Executive Order on Protecting Law Enforcement Officers, Judges, Prosecutors, And Their Families.” The order aims to provide for more federal law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges to be able to ...

Kansas: Permit Recognition Legislation to be Considered on Wednesday

Friday, January 22, 2021

Kansas: Permit Recognition Legislation to be Considered on Wednesday

On Wednesday, January 27, the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs is scheduled to consider permit recognition legislation, House Bill 2059. 

ATF Withdraws Pistol Brace “Guidance”

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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

ATF Withdraws Pistol Brace “Guidance”

On December 23rd, ATF posted a document to its website indicating that its recently published Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with “Stabilizing Braces” is withdrawn.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

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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.

Utah: House Judiciary Committee Passes Permitless Carry Legislation!

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Utah: House Judiciary Committee Passes Permitless Carry Legislation!

On January 22nd, the Utah House Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 60 on an 8 - 3 vote. 

Record Amount of Gun Control Legislation Introduced on First Day of Bill Pre-Filing for 2021 Texas Legislative Session

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Record Amount of Gun Control Legislation Introduced on First Day of Bill Pre-Filing for 2021 Texas Legislative Session

Although the 2021 session of the Texas Legislature convenes on January 12, gun control advocates financed by New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg and Beto "Hell Yeah, I'll Take Your Guns" O'Rourke wasted no time in announcing their ...

Biden to Nominate Anti-Second Amendment Judge Merrick Garland for Attorney General

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Thursday, January 7, 2021

Biden to Nominate Anti-Second Amendment Judge Merrick Garland for Attorney General

President-elect Joe Biden announced he will nominate U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Judge Merrick Garland for Attorney General. Biden’s choice of a noted Second Amendment opponent to lead the Department ...

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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.