Earlier this month, another case was filed to regain Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia. This case is likely to succeed, and it may set some interesting precedents. It’s a case that sues to eliminate the unconstitutional ban on stun guns and Tasers in the District. From cnsnews.com:
The plaintiffs in this case—Crystal Wright, Brendan Turner, and Traci Dean—have indicated that they have a legitimate need to defend themselves, but each has stated a desire to use a Taser or stun gun against an assailant rather than a gun, knife, or some other form of lethal force. The plaintiffs argue that pursuant to Heller, the Second Amendment extends to “all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.”
Accordingly, the District “may not completely ban the keeping and bearing of arms for self-defense that are not unusually dangerous, deny individuals the right to carry arms in non-sensitive places,” or “deprive individuals of the right to keep or carry arms in an arbitrary and capricious manner.”
D.C. Code § 7-2502.01(a) provides with exceptions not pertinent to plaintiffs that “no person or organization in the District of Columbia (“District”) shall receive, possess, control, transfer, offer for sale, sell, give, or deliver any destructive device.”
D.C. Code § 7-2501.01(7) (D) defines “Destructive device” inter alia as, “Any device designed or redesigned, made or remade, or readily converted or restored, and intended to stun or disable a person by means of electric shock.”
Thus, the District of Columbia outlaws the private possession by
plaintiffs of a Taser or stun gun within the District.
The lawsuit cites the recent per curiam decision in Caetano v. Massachusetts:
Given the decision in Heller, The District of Columbia may not completely ban the keeping and bearing of arms for self-defense that are not unusually dangerous, deny individuals the right to carry arms in non-sensitive places, deprive individuals of the right to keep or carry arms in an arbitrary and capricious manner, or impose regulations on the right to keep and carry arms that are inconsistent with the Second Amendment. See Caetano v. Massachusetts, 577 U.S. ___ (2016); Heller v. District of Columbia, 801 F.3d 26
In Caetano(pdf), the Supreme Court unanimously held that stun guns were protected under the Second Amendment. It’s hard to see how the District court will be able to ignore that recent, unanimous, ruling. The District is already under legal threat that their abusively restrictive gun carry permit scheme is a de-facto ban.
It will be interesting to see how the D.C. lawyers attempt to wiggle out of this lawsuit.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch