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Court Strikes Down D.C. Ban on Carrying Guns in Public

A U.S. District Court judge ruled that laws in Washington, D.C., that prevent gun owners from carrying handguns outside the home are unconstitutional.

A federal judge has struck down Washington D.C.’s ban on carrying handguns outside the home as unconstitutional.

“There is no longer any basis this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny,” U.S. District Court Judge Frederick J. Scullin wrote in his 19-page opinion, which was released Saturday.

The order effectively stops law enforcement officers in D.C. from enforcing laws that ban anyone from carrying a handgun outside their home. A 2008 law passed in the district requires handgun owners to specify where the gun would be kept and used, and denied handgun permits for anyone who intends to carry it outside the home, according to court documents.

The suit was brought by two residents of Washington, D.C., who wanted to carry a handgun for self-defense but were denied legal permits, as well as a non-resident of D.C. who said he was denied a permit solely because he lived outside of the district, among others. The decision also allows non-residents to carry handguns as well.

The Supreme Court in 2008 struck down Washington D.C.’s total ban on gun ownership, saying it violated the Second Amendment.



— Phil Helsel