BREAKING: Washington DC Will Appeal Carry Case

August 22 2014
by GSL Staff
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Emily Miller is reporting that Washington DC will appeal the Palmer case.

The case is considered a landmark case in our nation’s capital. A federal judge has ruled that the District’s complete ban on carry outside of the home is unconstitutional.

Last month, for about 48 hours, DC Metro Police announced they would cease enforcing the District’s carry laws. Some people posted videos and photos of themselves legally carrying firearms in our nation’s capital. However, a stay in the case was quickly granted to allow the DC Council to put in place a licensing system.

Earlier this week, DC asked for a 90 day extension. Now we know that DC will be appealing and likely wants that time to prepare their appeal.

Attorneys for DC also argued earlier this week that they believe the entirety of Washington DC could be considered an off-limits location, much in the same way that school are considered off-limits in most states.

From that court filing,

Respectfully, there can be no doubt that the District has raised a very serious question on the merits. Neither the Supreme Court nor the D.C. Circuit has determined that the Second Amendment extends beyond the home. Plaintiffs appear to contend otherwise, see P.Mem. 4, but refer only to the implications of various Supreme Court dicta and, subsequently, implicitly concede the point by discussing what the Supreme Court “would” do in the future on that specific issue. Id. at 6. See, e.g., Williams v. State, 10 A.3d 1167, 1177 (Md. 2011) (“[I]t is clear that prohibition of firearms in the home was the gravamen of the certiorari questions in both [District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) (“Heller I”)] and [McDonald v. Chicago, 130 S. Ct. 3020 (2010)] and their answers. If the Supreme Court, in this dicta, meant its holding to extend beyond home possession, it will need to say so more plainly.”), cert. denied, 132 S. Ct. 93 (2011).2

Plaintiffs additionally argue that the District’s arguments regarding Moore v. Madigan, 702 F.3d 933 (7th Cir. 2012), are “disingenuous.” P.Mem. at 6. Here, too, plaintiffs are incorrect. Only one circuit—the Seventh—has extended the Second Amendment right beyond the home in a jurisdiction (Illinois) that had not already, historically, recognized some form of public carrying. No court has addressed a ban on public carrying as unique as the District’s—a point plaintiffs do not rebut. The fact that the District’s law is “exceedingly rare” does not mean it is unconstitutional.

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