It wasn’t until 1932 that a permit was required to carry a concealed weapon in the District of Columbia. It was legal to carry pistols openly until 1943. At the time, it was clear that the prohibition didn’t apply to long arms. In 1973, the District of Columbia was granted “home rule.” In 1976, the new District government passed the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975. The law went into effect in 1977. It has now been over 70 years since it was legal to openly carry a pistol in the District of Columbia. But that changed over the weekend . . .

In the recent District Court decision, Palmer v. D.C.,  judge Scully cites the Peruta decision in the Ninth Circuit heavily, saying it’s clear that there exists a constitutional right to carry guns outside the home. And that the existing bans on the general carry of guns outside the home are unconstitutional. Peruta strikes down the local discretion to deny carry permits to the vast majority of applicants.

The District’s Police Chief Cathy Lanier has ordered the force not to arrest people carrying pistols unless they have felony records. And now one unknown Second Amendment activist has taken the opportunity to post a photograph of himself openly carrying in our nation’s capital. He will likely be the first of many.

But all is not yet final. Attorneys representing the District D.C. have asked the court for a stay of 180 days. You can read their request here.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

76 Responses to Is This the First Photo of Legal D.C. Open Carry in 70 Years?

    • F Yeah! Freedom is the only way! (If you haven’t seen Team America, do yourself a favor and watch it lol.)

      • Oh, man. I have never laughed so hard in a theater, almost to the point of being uncomfortable, as when I saw that movie the first time. I remember a dude in the same row as me got into a laughing fit so bad during the puking scene in the alley that he got up and left for a minute to compose himself. A couple showed up with young kids to see it in the row in front of me, and didn’t last 15 minutes until they realized what they were in for, and promptly got the kids out of there, looking mortified on the way out.

    • And make sure you’re keeping up with the legal changes daily so you don’t end up getting arrested for a felony because they got a stay at 9AM and you walk outside at 11AM…

  1. And why do you want to keep the ban on open and concealed carry for 180 days? Because it lets us ban it for 180 more days! And why should you get to keep doing what we just said is unconstitutional? Because we want to keep things the way they were!
    Goes on and on. Status quo means nothing for something like this. Hopefully DC will get a strong shall issue or remain constitutional carry for as long as possible.

  2. Its very simple why D.C. wants guns banned if you shoot the Mayors drug dealer breaking into your house or a Senators boy toy mugging you, society will collapse. Wait that already happened when the countries worst president was reelected.

    • Adam stuck his thumb in the eye of authority and stupidly forgot to tell his roommates to get rid of the contraband when he did so. Or his roommates stupidly didn’t listen. Doesn’t matter much at this point.

      No chance for him.

      • He’s been playing that game for a long time. The Feds finally got him on something they can keep in for more than a few days, so they’re not gonna let go.

      • I know most of the TTAG crew love to bash Kokesh, but at least the dude put his balls where his mouth is (okay, bad image, but you get my point). As for the drugs, they should be legal (it’s a mushroom that grows naturally), and I’m sure some stoned idot missed the little crumbs in the back of the freezer. So I say free Adam. He’s kind of a dick, but he’s not a threat to society. I like him better than the Open Carry Texas assholes.

  3. According to Emily Miller’s twitter, a stay has been submitted and a clarification has come out that it only applied to handguns – rifles and shotguns are prohibited. Ammunition registration is only for DC residents (?) and magazine restrictions may be enforced. VCDL also sent out a clarification alert and recommends no carry in DC for the time being.

    • I would really like to see that clarification. There is no ammo registration; rather the law says you cannot possess ammunition except in calibers for guns that have been registered in the city. Which of curse would prohibit anyone who does not have his guns registered in DC from carrying a loaded weapon, which makes no sense given the decision rendered.

      • From the VCDL Update this evening:

        **************************************************1. More information on carrying in DC – green light could turn to red**************************************************The DC police have been ordered not to enforce their ban on carry of HANDGUNS in public (DOES NOT ALLOW CARRY OF LONG GUNS), except for felons and for **DC RESIDENTS** who have not registered their handguns.  DC’s ammunition registration requirement is also not being enforced on non-residents.***CAUTION – DC has a magazine-capacity limitation, so I would not consider carrying there with more than a 10-round magazine, even has a non-resident.***Here is the DC memo to the police on the above (from the winning pro-gun attorney, Alan Gura):http://alangura.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/07-137-14.pdfDC is trying to get a stay on Saturday’s District Court ruling allowing carry of handguns.  So be careful to check that a stay is not in place should you go to DC.  (The original source document I had for yesterday’s alert mistakenly said it was a Circuit Court ruling.)Here are some thoughts on the carry status in DC from a Second Amendment lawyer, David Kopel:From washingtonpost.com:  http://tinyurl.com/m28ssd5Article on DC trying to get a stay on enforcement of the ruling, so they can continue to ban guns while appealing the ruling:From washingtontimes.com:  http://tinyurl.com/kfl6237

      • Hmmm I just checked PACER, and if there is an order f clarification, it is not on the system. Which means that the order issued after hours and not entered, or that it was not entered.

  4. The title of this post implies either that the Metropolitan Police have been illegally openly carrying for 70 years or that during those 70 years no pictures have been taken of Metropolitan Police officers.

  5. Well… good on him for taking a stand and all that. But decelerations be damned I really wouldn’t have recommended that action.

  6. Does the DC mall come under federal jurisdiction? Did the court decision cover federal property? I’m not sure I would want to be the one to test that issue by walking around on the capital grounds or some other such venue.

  7. I seriously considered carrying into DC today for a subtle photo-op, but I noted that the ruling prevents Metro PD from enforcing the ban on handguns, but not the ban on possession of ammunition (that doesn’t match up with a gun registered in DC). Clearly, the ruling was meant to permit law-abiding citizens to be armed, but this is the city that charged Mark Witaschek for having inert chunks of metal (with neither powder nor primers) meant to be muzzleloader ammunition…when muzzleloaders aren’t even considered “firearms”.

    One might hope that a test case will be unnecessary, but I gave up hoping that cities like DC would voluntarily give up their authoritarian ways long ago. Hell, I’m shocked they even acknowledged the ruling in the first place.

    • If the ammo is in the gun, the ruling seems to cover it. All of the plaintiffs applied for registration of their guns as follows: “I intend to carry the loaded firearm in public for self-defense when not stored in my home.” They were denied that right, and the denial was unconstitutional.

      If DC residents are caught with ammo for an unregistered gun, well then, who knows?

  8. If this were a caption contest I’d have to go with:

    “I got it! Now get the fvck back in the car, QUICK!”

  9. Hang on just a fucking second.

    I just read the pleading. They conferred with counsel for plaintiffs…who ‘doesn’t oppose a 90 day stay’?!

    I’m sorry, but…why is Gura agreeing to any stay? He is far more…magnanimous…than I would be in that position.

    And yes, I am a lawyer.

      • What the pleading says is that Gura agreed to a 90 day stay to permit the City council to enact a constitutionally compliant ordinance for the carrying of loaded firearms in city limits. Two things: as the pleadings report, the council does not reconvene until September 15. Second is the term “constitutionally compliant”–which means that if they try to throw some outrageous system up there, Gura will object to a continuation of the stay. Notably, D.C. has a may issue law in place –but a no issue system in practice. I would guess that Gura is betting that the trial court will grant some sort of stay to allow for the enactment of an ordinance, as was the case in Illinois, but he has placed strict limits on what he will agree to, given that he is dealing with a city council and not a state legislature. Reading between the lines, Gura will likely demand a shall issue system be enacted to avoid a repeat of the current circumstance

  10. I’m concerned how the Metro PD will respond to openly carried firearms. While the decision references concealed carry I’m unsure if it can be extended to openly carried firearms.

    I’d imagine some intrepid officer could make a brandishing charge and a DA could make it stick.

  11. As I suspected, so lawyer the weekend writing the application for a stay/clarification. It is a shocking display of hubris. It suggests that there is no binding precedent on the issue presented, not mentioning Moore of more pointedly Peruta (which is binding for the time being and is exactly on point), that because DC is the seat of the federal government and there are foreign dignitaries running about, the City should have the right to be a constitution free zone–or at least a 2A free zone, and that the 180 days is needed to write new (admittedly highly restrictive) legislation in part due to the fact that the City Council is in recess for the next 48 days.

  12. Anyone worried about a lot of weight being put on Peruta? Not much (any?) value as precedent, and not even final?

  13. Why did the plaintiffs, who won the case, not object to an immediate 90 day stay? What were they thinking?

  14. I spent some time around the MPD a few years back. They have a lot of very interesting characters there, from a guy who could have been Chef on South Park, to a real-life 21 Jump Street female undercover officer, to a guy from cop drama central casting who was so dedicated he bought his own ruggedized laptop to jumpstart a procurement evaluation.

    I did not run across anyone who seemed like they were angling for a position in Bloomberg’s brownshirt brigade. My best guess is that very few DC cops are going to waste their time hassling OC tourists with this memo to cover them. They have more than enough real police work to occupy their time.

    • Chier Lanier seems to be sending a message. Here is my attempt at mindreading:

      Look, we have a lot of a$$holes in the District. We know that the tourists that come here and want to carry are not a problem, except they give us bad PR when we end up arresting them on stupid gun charges.

      Please, just let us keep the lid on the people in the District, and we will let tourists carry all they want!

  15. Does this mean that that guy who posted the video of him carrying the shotgun around DC at dawn gets out of jail now? What actually is the process for people who are sitting in prison on convictions for violating laws that have been ruled unconstitutional? Do they get out while the ruling is appealed? Do they get compensated for wrongful arrest?

    • He is not sitting in prison on that charge–he got two years probation. However, he was also charged by Virginia for possession of drugs and also possession of a firearm while possessing drugs, both felonies. He could up to five years when he is sentenced in September.

  16. The request for a stay should be immediately denied. They are asking the court to continue to allow unconstitutional infringement. If granted then there should be punitive damages attached that make every city council member personally liable for say $1000 per day per damaged individual who wishes to carry. This has been going on for 70 years. The lawsuit took 5 years for the court to decide. The goverent shouldn’t get one extra minute of illegal infringement.

  17. Asking for a stay so that the city council can write some 2A compliant legislation.
    Bullshit, they had decades to do that.
    To Late!

    • Yep. It shouldn’t be difficult at all to come into compliance with shall not be infringed but something tells me that’s not what they’ll end up doing. 🙁

  18. “No, don’t open carry there! It’ll scare someone, and we’ll lose ground.”

    “You’ll set us back.”

    “You know, just because you have the right to do something doesn’t mean you should.”

    Have I covered all of them yet?

    • You missed a few like Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Also, you need to throw in a bit more vitriol and cutesy names. Some threats of bodily harm for realism as well. 😉

      My favorite is, You’ll ruin it for the rest of us! *eye roll*

    • Yeah, you missed the part about not wearing khaki pants and a polo shirt. Altho, actually, if you’re gonna do a demonstration I do think it’s wise, if not to dress up, at least not to dress down.

  19. I think this is perfect…!

    Everybody shall carry his/hers firearm on a holster, in a clear view…!!

    This will help to prevent crime, because the criminals know that they will get shut if they try to comets a crime on anyone carrying a handgun on it’s belt….

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