Gun Groups Slam New DC Carry Law

"They're looking to be the worst possible example of liberty"

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As the nation's capital begins to accept concealed carry applications, more and more gun-rights groups are attacking the law.

"Self-defense is a fundamental human right," NRA spokesperson Catherine Mortensen said. "It isn't a privilege that should be doled out at the discretion of bureaucrats."

Mortensen is critiquing the myriad of restrictions that make the new law one of the most restrictive in the nation. One of the most controversial parts of the law requires applicants to prove they have "good reasons to fear injury to person or property."

Mortensen specifically objected to the fact that the final decision on who will get a DC concealed carry license lies in the discretion of the city's chief of police.

"D.C. continues to try and circumvent the Constitution after Heller and McDonald, and now, after a federal court has ruled that it cannot ban the bearing of lawfully-possessed arms in self-defense," she said.

"It's every bit as bad and unconstitutional a law as they had before," Virginia Citizens Defense League President Philip Van Cleave said. The federal ruling that declared D.C.'s ban on gun carry unconstitutional also required the city to issue carry permits to non-residents. Virginia has the most concealed carry licensees of the jurisdictions surrounding D.C.

"This couldn't be more of a disgrace," Van Cleave said, specifically slamming the restrictive requirement that applicants prove to police that they need a permit. "Self defense? No, self defense doesn't count."

He said the requirement was particularly offensive as it was likely "dictated by people who live in gated communities."

The law is a "real example of what tyranny is" because it shows government "turning its back on citizens and doing whatever it damn well pleases."

"They're looking to be the worst possible example of liberty," Van Cleave said.

Dave Workman of the The 2nd Amendment Foundation criticized the contradiction inherent in the law's requirement that applicants complete courses with Metropolitan Police Department certified instructors, despite the department's lack of such instructors.

"You could call that a catch-22," Workman said.

He called the law's requirement of two hours of live firearm training a "problem" since there are no public gun ranges in the city.

"There's a comparison with this law and the original concealed carry law in Chicago," Workman said. "That law also required shooting, but banned gun ranges" from operating within city limits.

"It's always a problem with a law contains a requirement that can't be met," he said.

The law is a "monumental speed bump" as it currently stands, Workman said.

The 2nd Amendment Foundation successfully argued in federal court that D.C.'s outright ban on gun carry was unconstitutional. The case is ongoing, and the foundation argues the new law is also unconstitutional.

Stephen Gutowski   Email Stephen | Full Bio | RSS
Stephen Gutowski is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He founded his own site as a junior in college and has been writing about news and politics since that time. He spent 4 years with the Media Research Center and was most recently with the Capitol City Project. His email address is Gutowski@FreeBeacon.com. His twitter handle is @StephenGutowski.

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