District of Columbia Files for En Banc Hearing of ‘May Issue’ Licensing Ruling

Right up there with the sun coming up in the east and Shannon Watts cashing her weekly check from Daddy Bloombucks, one sure thing you could safely bet the the farm on was the District of Columbia fighting last month’s US District Court ruling that invalidated the city’s may-issue concealed carry denial approval process. As the Second Amendment Foundation reports in a press release this morning, the DC powers that be are counting on an en banc hearing to overturn the three-judge panel’s ruling.

BELLEVUE, WA – The District of Columbia has filed an appeal with the U.S. District Court of Appeals requesting an en banc hearing in a case recently won by the Second Amendment Foundation that struck down the “good reason” requirement for obtaining a concealed carry permit.

The case is Wrenn v. District of Columbia.

“The Second Amendment Foundation expected the City of Washington, DC to file this appeal in an attempt to try to overturn our court victory that said their virtual ban on the right to carry a firearm for self-protection was unconstitutional,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb.

SAF has been battling the city over this issue for some time. The city has strenuously resisted these legal efforts, arguing in its latest petition that the city is “unique” because of its dense population that includes “thousands of high-ranking federal officials and international diplomats.” But earlier this summer, the District Court of Appeals majority opinion is that the “good reason” restriction violates the Second Amendment rights of citizens living in the district.

“They have no intention of complying with any court decision that supports the right to keep and bear arms,” Gottlieb said. “It took the Heller decision to force them to allow a gun in your own home for self-defense. It took the Palmer decision, another SAF case, to force them to repeal their total ban on carry and now they are kicking and screaming about losing the Wrenn decision.”

Gottlieb maintains that even if the District is “unique,” the citizens living there still retain their right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. The city’s “good reason” requirement makes it far too easy to deny all but a few people their rights on the flimsy grounds that average citizens never have a good enough reason. The court recognized this problem and ruled against the District’s requirement, he noted.

“Municipal stubbornness cannot be allowed to outweigh the constitution,” Gottlieb said. “A civil right should not be subject to bureaucratic neurosis.”

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

comments

  1. avatar Ogre says:

    If DC’s appeal to the en banc Court of Appeals fails, I believe it will still do everything possible to sidestep or ignore any decision that allows its citizens to enjoy their full 2A rights. That’s has been DC’s pattern of behavior after Heller v. DC decision and after other 2A cases decided against it. If DC wants to continue to be so progressively boneheaded, I am all for Congress retroceding the District of Columbia (except for Federal property and monuments) back to Maryland, which is already a socialist people’s republic when it comes to the 2A, and its pro-gun citizens can either accept the situation or move to Virginia, where their gun rights will be secure. Or, Congress can pass laws (which is within its authority) overriding any local DC laws regarding guns (or anything else for that matter). Then watch the Dem-Progressive heads start to explode. As a last resort, Congress could repeal DC’s home rule and appoint its own administrator. IMHO, DC before home rule was a much better operated place.

    1. avatar dollup15 says:

      “As a last resort, Congress could repeal DC’s home rule and appoint its own administrator.”

      Theoretically possible, but it would never happen. Taking away the right to elect a local government from people who already are subject to taxation without representation at the federal level? The riots would be huge.

      Personally, I see no reason for DC to continue to be separate from Maryland. The federal government would still own the land that the Capitol, White House, and similar buildings sit on. Why does Congress need direct control (which it hardly every exercises anyway) over the 70 square miles?

      1. avatar Mike Betts says:

        Obviously, you gents don’t live in Maryland. We already have a reeking, crime-ridden money pit with the City of Baltimore and we sure don’t need another one. I have to wonder what our state taxes would be if the mayor of that mal-governed cesspool of a city wasn’t going to Annapolis every time you turn around with outstretched hand, begging for more money to throw down that rat hole. And the mayor gets that cash because population means votes, something no politician wants to lose. However, the population of the city is shrinking because all of the decent people who are able have fled and no small number of the ones left are killing each other off fighting for drug-dealing turf.

        Give us the District of Corruption, too? Thanks, but no thanks. We have enough stupid Democrats in this unfortunate state already.

        1. avatar didymus says:

          standing ovation for you my friend. Well, put

      2. avatar Rincoln says:

        DC was never supposed to be a place where people — other than politicians — lived. It was never supposed to have electoral votes. It was never supposed to have a separate government. It was never supposed to have any of these things, because it was never supposed to be a part of any “state,” so that no state could “control” or exert influence over the federal government. Having all of these things makes it a de-facto state, and thus in direct contradiction to the reason for its existence.

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          Not a state/territory so use that as rational for exclusion from Section 8 $, Snap/Food stamp $, NO welfare $ of any sort. Priority #1 for deportation. The traffic fleeing DC would be immediate.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      If en banc is denied, the City will immediately file a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, which will not even begin to act on such petitions until the court returns from its summer recess in October.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        SCOTUS will not grant cert on this case, should it be requested, until Trump has appointed at least one more Conservative Justice. They are loathe to hear any 2A cases so long as there is a loose cannon on the bench that cannot guarantee a 5-4 vote in favor since they know how difficult it is to overturn a stari decisis once the SCOTUS has made a ruling.

  2. avatar DDay says:

    Remember, the DC court was the one Reid and obama changed the fillibuster rules in the senate, so they could stack the court with liberal judges.

    1. avatar dollup15 says:

      Of the current active judges on the DC Circuit, the breakdown is as follows:

      1 H.W. Bush appointment
      3 Clinton appointments
      3 W. Bush appointments
      4 Obama appointments

      1 judge (W. Bush appointment) has announced she will retire on August 31.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        That means seven Democrats and four Republicans; but one of those four Republicans was the dissenting vote in the original panel decision, thus it is 7-3 against affirmance when the Republican dissenter retires. Not a pretty picture.

        1. avatar DDay says:

          Many federal regulations are subject to the DC circuit court of appeals, that’s why the Dem’s wanted to pack the court. There was no need for more judges with the case load in that circuit and that’s why the GOP objected and Dem’s changed the fillibuster.

  3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    This is my surprised face …

  4. avatar lorddunsmore says:

    DC knows it will win this appeal. It’ll be interesting to see how the DC Court will rationalize violating the 2nd Amendment and the guidance laid down by the SCOTUS in Heller.

    1. avatar Billy-bob says:

      ‘Cuz gunz!

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      See my best guesstimate below. the short answer to that analysis is the same as Billy-bob’s. “Cuz GUNZ!!!”

  5. avatar Treedodger says:

    Pro-gun groups need to take a page from the Left’s anti-gun playbook and protest the Democratic anti-gun agenda in DC as a racist outrage since 59% of the population is African-American and Hispanic.

    Obviously the Democratic administration does not trust its voting base with guns and constitutes a violation of African-American and Hispanic gun owner’s civil rights in DC.

  6. avatar Geoff PR says:

    Can a friendly judge be found that can order DC to issue permits shall-issue until the En Banc ruling is handed down?

    1. avatar Huntmaster says:

      Doesn’t make any difference. They’d just thumb their nose at him anyhow. I don’t care if it goes all the way to the Supreme Court. They will appeal, delay and ignore and nothing is going to change until the’re swinging from the streetlights.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      The original panel decision ordered that the “may issue” system be eliminated, but that ruling will not go into effect until the decision is “final,” i.e.,when the period for filing for further appeals expires. Prior to that date (which is in September), the city filed for en banc, so the order cannot take effect unless and until the en banc petition is denied, and the time to file a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court expires as well. If en banc is granted, the ruling will be automatically suspended. No lower court judge has any jurisdiction; jurisdiction, and the power to rule on the case, is solely within the province of the D.C. Circuit.

      So to answer your question: No.

    3. avatar Mark N. says:

      My original response having disappeared into the “ethernet”, let me try again.
      The short answer is “No.” The only court that has jurisdiction (i.e. the power to issue such an order) is the D.C. Circuit itself. The original panel decision has not gone into effect, and will not go into effect as long as appeals are pending.

  7. avatar Mark N. says:

    Completely expected. The City would never allow the ruling to stand if there was any way to avoid it. The en banc petition gives them two bites at the apple, first with all 10 or eleven justices of the Circuit, and again with the Supreme Court if the en banc petition is denied or the ruling is affirmed after hearing. Frankly, neither denial of the en ban petition nor affirmance are remotely possible, not with a majority of anti-gun jurists.

    My prediction as to how the court will rule on the merits is as follows: There is a right to bear arms outside the home; however, that right is not “central” to the right, and therefore limitations on its exercise is subject to reasonable regulations in the public interests, i.e., any law is subject to “intermediate” scrutiny. The test will be satisfied by the City’s contention that it needs to control guns in public in the interests of public safety, because of all of the federal officials and foreign diplomats in town (or some such). This is well-trod ground on the Eastern seaboard in decisions from the Second, Third, and Fourth Circuits.

    By contrast, I think it is highly unlikely that the court will follow the Ninth Circuit’s lead in declaring that there is no right to carry a concealed firearm in public.

  8. avatar eremeya says:

    If Gottlib would recognise that the 2A applies to armed individuals at political protests he could make SAF even better…

  9. avatar Republic says:

    Gentlemen the obvious solution is to limit the DC’s ability to legislate on certain issues. Have Congress reduce their authority to only necessary issues to run the city. (Roads, health, welfare etc…) The good people of DC still maintain their representative government, thus avoiding the riots that would follow should it be abolished. However, the city government could no longer inject itself into controversial political issues by taking positions that are often unconstitutional and certainly well outside the mainstream.

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