D.C. Requests Stay on Ruling Declaring Gun Law Unconstitutional

Update: Plaintiffs file motion asking D.C. be held in contempt of court (Updated)

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• May 26, 2015 7:42 pm


Update, 8:56 P.M.: The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a motion asking Judge Frederick J. Scullin to hold the District of Columbia in contempt of court. The request comes after the Metropolitan Police Department sent a letter to one applicant notifying him the city would not be issuing him a permit for at least another 90 days despite Scullin's ruling. The letter said the 90 day period was to allow the city's attorneys time to clarify the ruling but the Second Amendment Foundation said in their motion the ruling was clear and the city is not complying with it.


The District of Columbia has filed a request for a stay on last Monday’s ruling declaring part of the city’s gun carry law unconstitutional.

"In its Order, the Court misinterpreted and misapplied the relevant case law and, as shown below, a careful balancing of the interests demonstrates that a stay of the Order, and an immediate administrative stay, should issue so that the District may pursue its appellate rights," the city said in its filing.

"This injunction has important public safety consequences, if for no other reason than it will result in an increase in the number of guns carried publicly," the city added.

The May 18th order from Judge Frederick J. Scullin, which issued a preliminary injunction against the District, prevents the city government from enforcing the "good reason" requirement embedded in its gun carry law. That requirement said applicants must prove to the city’s chief of police that they have a good reason to carry a gun.

Critics claimed that the "good reason" requirement allowed few permits to be issued; they also argued that it violates the Second Amendment.

While Judge Scullin agreed that the "good reason" clause is "arbitrary" and "far beyond" reasonable gun carry restrictions, the city said in its filing that the clause is the "central element of the District’s concealed carrying regime."

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), which is representing the plaintiffs in the case, expressed outrage over the city’s decision to file for a stay in the case. The gun rights group said that it would oppose the request in its own filing with the court.

"By filing this motion the city is again ignoring the court order and pretending that they do not understand what the court has ruled," said Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the SAF. "We will respond very firmly in opposition and will do everything legally possible to force Washington, D.C., to respect the Second Amendment."

The Attorney General’s Office of the District of Columbia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Published under: Gun Control, Guns, New Gun Laws, Washington