A federal appeals court deemed on Tuesday that a Washington D.C. law making the acquisition of a permit to carry a concealed firearm more difficult is unconstitutional.
The three judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia voted 2-1 against a law requiring individuals to show “proper reason to fear injury” before getting a concealed carry permit.
As currently constituted, the law requires people to provide specific reasons, such as a personal threat, before being granted a permit to carry a firearm in concealed fashion. The court ruled this is a direct violation of Second Amendment rights.
The decision is unpopular with officials in D.C. who plan to uphold the law and appeal the ruling.
“Washington D.C. is the safest it has been in years,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. “The District’s ‘good reason’ requirement is similar to the concealed carry requirements in other states and, for now, it remains in effect.”
Attorney General Karl Racine thinks the current law is “common sense.”
“The District of Columbia’s ‘good reason’ requirement for concealed-carry permits is a common-sense gun regulation, and four federal appeals courts have rejected challenges to similar laws in other states,” Racine said in a statement.
District of Columbia Council chairman Phil Mendelson pointed to opposite decisions made in lower courts when speaking about plans to appeal the ruling.
“The 2-1 panel decision is at odds with four other Circuit Court decisions on this issue,” Mendelson said. “Accepting this without appeal would make the District an outlier among the states, and not in a good way, on this important issue of public safety.”
Democratic delegate from D.C., Eleanor Holmes Norton added her voice to the opposition of the ruling.
“If appealed to the full Circuit Court, I believe the chances are excellent that this decision will be overturned, with the recognition that the District’s requirement is in line with other gun safety legislation that has survived court attacks,” Norton said.
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