DC Police Say They've Stopped Denying Gun Carry Permit Applications in Response to Federal Ruling

Still no word on approvals

Cathy Lanier, D.C. chief of police / AP
June 2, 2015

The District of Columbia Police Department said on Monday it has not issued any gun-carry permit denials since a federal judge ruled the city's requirement that applicants show a special need to carry a firearm unconstitutional.

"Since the injunction was issued, we have not issued any denials of applications," D.C. Police spokesman Lieutenant Sean Conboy said. "We have not denied any applications. We have issued two letters invoking the additional 90-day period to process two of those applications that were pending."

Conboy could not say whether any new applications would be approved or what would happen to those whose applications had been denied under the now defunct "good reason" clause.

"We're awaiting further guidance from the Office of the Attorney General on other applications," he said.

The department's action stems from a May 18 ruling from Judge Frederick J. Scullin that declared the city's "good reason" clause, which effectively gave D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier final say in who receives a permit, a violation of the Second Amendment. The judge's ruling barred the city from enforcing the clause. On May 28, Scullin issued a second order denying the city's request for an immediate stay on the original ruling.

The Second Amendment Foundation, which spearheaded the case against the city, said it is not satisfied with news that D.C. had stopped denying applications.

"Glad to hear that they have not denied any applications," SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb said. "The real question they need to answer is how many did they approve."

While Conboy said the department was awaiting further guidance from the attorney general's office, at least one preliminary approval has been issued in response to the ruling. Joshua Akery, who was one of the plaintiffs in the case against the city, received preliminary approval of his permit. Akery decided to join the suit after his application for a permit was denied under the "good reason" clause.

"Metro Police called me Wednesday around 4:30 p.m. to say that my denial was reversed and I'd be getting a letter soon," he said. "I got the actual letter on Saturday."

Conboy did not give a timetable for when more information would be coming, and the Office of the Attorney General has yet to issue a response to Scullin's ruling.