The number of applications for gun carry permits in Washington, D.C., more than tripled in the aftermath of a federal court ruling declaring part of the city’s law unconstitutional.
Between January 1 and May 18, the city received 45 permit applications, according to Sean Conboy fo the Metropolitan Police Department. However, after Judge Frederick Scullin ruled that the "good reason" clause contained within the city’s carry law was unconstitutional on May 18, applications increased significantly.
Between May 18 and June 26, the city received 140 applications, according to Conboy.
Conboy said 27 applications had been approved between January 1st and May 18, whereas 11 applications had been approved since then.
Cathy Lanier, the chief of the MPD, argued at the time of the ruling that DC residents did not want to carry firearms because few people had applied for permits. "We haven’t had a huge number of applicants," she told NewsTalk with Bruce Depuyt. "Our residents have been pretty clear this is not something that they wanted. A very small number of D.C. residents have applied for concealed carry."
The Second Amendment Foundation, which helped bring the case against D.C.’s gun carry law, said that the increase was unsurprising and limited by the city’s actions. "We expected that increase with all the recent publicity about our suit," said Alan Gottlieb, the group’s founder. "That number should really increase after we win on the appeal that the city filed. People right now are not applying because they are chilled by the fact that the city is not complying with the court ruling," he said.
Gottlieb also said that he was upset with the city’s apparent decrease in application approvals. "It looks like the D.C. Police Department has actually decreased the percentage of applications they are approving," he said. "We are not happy with the numbers they released."
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a temporary stay against Judge Scullin’s ruling on June 12 and is expected to rule on a long-term stay pending appeal in the coming weeks.