Home Quote of the Day D.C. to Pay Gun Owners $5.1 Million for Unconstitutional Arrests and Confiscations

D.C. to Pay Gun Owners $5.1 Million for Unconstitutional Arrests and Confiscations

Muriel Bowser
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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D.C. will pay $5.1 million as part of a class-action settlement with gun owners who were arrested under laws that have since been found to violate the Second Amendment, according to the settlement agreement.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth gave preliminary approval to the settlement agreement on Monday following years of litigation. Lamberth had previously ruled in September 2021 that D.C. arrested, jailed, prosecuted and seized guns from six people “based on an unconstitutional set of laws” and violated their Second Amendment rights.

The laws — a ban on carrying handguns outside the home and others that effectively banned nonresidents from carrying guns at all in D.C. — have since been struck down in federal court. They were part of a “gun control regime that completely banned carrying handguns in public,” Lamberth wrote in the 2021 ruling.

Now, D.C. will pay a total of $300,000 to the six plaintiffs and $1.9 million in attorneys fees, with the majority of the rest of the money set aside for more than 3,000 people estimated to qualify for the class-action. …

In this case, the six plaintiffs — including four non-D.C. residents — were arrested between 2012 and 2014 on gun-related charges. They filed a lawsuit in 2015.

Those arrested include the lead plaintiff, Maggie Smith, a nurse from North Carolina who was pulled over by D.C. police for a routine traffic stop in June 2014, according to court documents. Smith, who had no criminal record, informed officers her car contained a pistol that was licensed in her home state — for which police promptly arrested her, seizing her gun and taking her to jail, where she stayed overnight.

— Meagan Flynn in D.C. To Pay $5.1 Million Settlement After Judge Finds Second Amendment Violations

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  1. “…D.C. will pay a total of $300,000 to the six plaintiffs and $1.9 million in attorneys fees…”

    Sounds about right. I’ve been party to several court cases over my lifetime as both plaintiff and defendant. Never yet met a single lawyer who didn’t seem like a slime. And most of them were a complete waste of money.

    • Haz.
      We had an attorney in town when I was a kid. I doubt he ever saw the inside of a courtroom. Made a nice living writing up legal documents and contracts for the residents of the small town and area farmers. While I can’t remember him ever being accused of any kind of wrongdoing, something about him made me mistrust and suspect his integrity. Kind of like when the dog’s hackles are up around certain people who are legit in what they are doing, but something about them the dog doesn’t trust or like.

    • I have had one instance of using attorneys for a lawsuit against me where the the amount of money that the other party wanted to collect was beyond ludicrous. We went around and around and I finally told my attorney that I would simply end my small business and the other party would get nothing if they did not accept my “generous” (though still ludicrous) offer. So my attorney informed the other party who accepted my offer. Note that, when I proof read the final agreement, it was I–ME–who told my attorney that she failed to characterize the agreement “with prejudice” which means this matter is over and final–and no one can resurrect it in the future for any reason.

      How does an attorney fail to include “with prejudice” in an agreement for his/her defendant?

    • It’d be cool if Bowser and DC actually had to pay it but it’ll be the taxpayers who will fork over the cash. As always.

      • They shouldn’t be able to buy off on this. All parties involved in making these unconstitutional laws and the ones that enforced it should get 10 years each for violating citizens constitutional rights, malicious prosecution, and unlwful imprisonment.

  2. A tiny start. But a mighty avalanche is started when a few stones start moving downhill. Hit them in the pocketbook and make them pay for abusing us and infringing on our god-given right to keep and BEAR arms.

    lawyers aren’t cheap and it takes a LOT of them working on a case to meet the government prosecutors and lawyers who are using our own tax money against us. No kidding legal fees run into the millions for the poor suckers who get stomped under the boot.

    Shall not be Infringed.

    • I assume the settlement money comes from the taxpayers as well. These people won’t think twice about blowing millions of taxpayer funds.

      • Exactly. Other people’s money. It’s why states have been enthusiastic about passing Bruen-spasm response bills. They will be fought and hopefully struck down … but the people who pass them know they don’t have to pay for the court costs out of their own pockets.

      • Of course the $$$ comes from the taxpayers, because the politicians have ‘Qualified Immunity’ and can’t be sued or held accountable in court for their UN-Constitutional laws and behavior. That behavior must be dealt with by ‘We the People’. Who’s Rights were violated. As they see fit.

        • Actually, I believe that the SCOTUS put restriction on the qualified immunity in a ruling on police officers. They ruled that if the officers actions were so obviously wrong and unconstitutional then they lose their right to immunity. Even though it has not been tried yet, I have to believe the same would hold true for politicians. Whenever politicians make grossly wrong and unconstitutional laws violating our rights, they should each be sued as individuals for their actions. I think this has to be tried. We need to go offensive in our legal actions against rogue politicians and end our practice of being defensive all the time.

        • A difference that makes no difference…Is no difference. It’s still taxpayers wasted money. Especially when the rates go up do to large payouts. Simply abiding by the Bill of Rights and other Constitutional Amendments. As they have sworn an Oath to do. Negates the need for such insurance/payouts.

        • I forget who the pol was that said “we write the laws,don’t care about them being constitutional, that’s for the courts to figure out “. or something like that.
          Oath breaking POS

        • Only if they have specific coverage for that kind of action. Insurance companies, despite what their ads seem to imply, are not in the business of paying claims. They are in the business of collecting premiums. If that particular coverage is not outlined in the policy, the re-insurance company will deny coverage. The taxpayers of D.C. are going to get it in the end no matter who pays the judgment.

  3. Ok, the lawyers saw and went for the nice percentage payoff.
    We need national reciprocity for permits/licenses if the idiots demand a permit for a right.
    Or do the right thing and abolish the majority of restrictions on arms.
    I can see the need for restrictions in places like courtrooms or jury rooms, jails and other government offices. Since the Post Office has lost much of their responsibility for transfer of money and goods to wire/internet and shipping companies, they’re not the target of robberies they once were that restriction could be dropped.
    As for the foolish bans and other crap, the idiots just can’t understand the simple fact no law ever written or could be written will ever prevent any illegal act. Laws only provide a tenuous justification for legal revenge or punishment for transgressions of said laws/societal norms.
    Murder has been against the law/illegal for a very long time. Watch the news, read a paper, trawl the internet and you will see/hear articles and reports of murders every day. How many have ever been prevented because it is illegal to commit murder?

    • oldmaninAL,

      There are multiple reasons which move the civilian disarmament industrial complex to ban firearms.

      Some entities push for bans:
      1) … naively thinking that bans will somehow stop criminals.
      2) … to punish “others” who reject their pursuit of Utopia.
      3) … getting sick thrills degrading and humiliating the masses.

      There is another dynamic that is somewhat related to and somewhat different from the above. Some entities push for bans to increase the difficulty, expense, and risk of being armed for self-defense which reduces how many people and which types of people are armed for self-defense. I will explain that below in a reply to this comment.

      • The other dynamic which drives some entities to push for bans:

        Some entities are totally okay with the “right kind” of people being armed in public, where the “right kind” of people typically are well-off financially and the “wrong kind” typically are poor people. Thus, increasing the difficulty, expense, and risk of being armed reduces how many poor people are armed for self-defense.

        Some entities believe that many people who have not yet committed any crimes and who have no intention of robbing or murdering anyone are nevertheless prone to angry outbursts and will suddenly gun-down someone for slights like cutting in line in front of them. Thus, reducing the number of people in the populace who are armed for self-defense will reduce the number of deadly angry outbursts.

        And some entities believe that violent criminals often acquire their firearms from the general populace–thus reducing how many people in the general populous who are armed will reduce the supply of firearms to violent criminals.

        Only that last justification is remotely defensible–and even that is a non-starter because it denies inalienable rights to the populous.

        • You left out the main driving reason. And it’s the same reason for no crash bail and reducing charges on felons. It’s to increase the fear and pain from crime so much that the sheeple will submit to ANYTHING that promises to stop the pain.
          The Left whines that there’s never a gun owner at a mass shooting except the killer. Of course not! When there’s an armed citizen there, it doesn’t make it to a mass shooting. Three killed, one the shooter, doesn’t qualify.

        • TweetyRex,

          Ah, excellent additional rationale.

          I will have to add that to my future lists.

        • To build on that it also drives a wedge between upper and lower income gun owners and creates an othering where more typically a welcoming of all abilities and means are welcome as both can change with effort reducing the social cohesion of the group and reducing the social networking and communication within said group. Worked great till the internet.

    • “We need national reciprocity for permits/licenses if the idiots demand a permit for a right.”

      That may be happening sooner than later, by court decree…

  4. The biggest problem with any of these settlements is there is no penalty for the politicians who pass these laws or law enforcement who cheerfully arrest people when all of them knew or should have known that these laws were unconstitutional.

    • Yes. It’s the biggest problem we have with our government. There is no accountability. If they’re left wing, they get rewarded for using their power to oppress people. It’s amazing how people have been conditioned to ignore that.

      • Dude,

        I wonder…when a DA chooses to persecute someone for violation of an unconstitutional law, does qualified immunity protect that DA. I kind of get it (resentfully) for police officers, but a DA has prosecutorial discretion; that should (outside of clown-world) expose the DA to personal liability.

        “Dreamer, nothing but a dreamer. But can you put your hands in your head….oh no…”

        • “If I could see something,
          You can see anything you want, boy.”

    • Rusty,

      Here, Here!!!

      Passing laws that you know are unconstitutional is, at the very least, an insurrection.

    • Good to see a bit of “justice” in DC. Now do ILLannoy. Where a billionaire Prickster bribes judges with $1000000 each. And violates tax law by ripping out toilets in his Gold Coast mansion. Not to mention ignoring that all the new ANTI-2A laws are completely unconstitutional. But import thousands of illegal aliens & eliminate cash bail. I’m thinking lawyer’s will be the biggest beneficiaries here too🙄

  5. Yeah!!! When are these damn dem gun control anti 2nd Amendment going to learn!! They do this because they have barrels of taxpayer dollars!!!

  6. Arrested and stayed over night.
    And you know that’s a real poser because some people have pride in the fact they are not law breakers however the system dont think nothing about ” arrested and stayed over night”. Incarcerated is the new normal.

  7. It’s a win for justice. Now sue those behind the Gun Free Zone signs that cater to violent criminals.

    • For which issues? We have almost 2 dozen various cases with a half dozen pending circuit court decision.

  8. 5.1 million? That would buy a nice armory! OK, it would be a small armory, but an armory all the same!

    Why does government always get off so easy? They violate your rights, and it can destroy your life – but they just cough up a little money, and it’s alright?

  9. Due process is a PRIME requirement for any seizure of any personally owned property.

  10. Bought house in 77. Half paid off when I got hurt on the job. Working half-inside a 220 volt AC and relay panel that controlled the small jail under our Superior Court. In the dark, penlight in my mouth, crawling on the Deputy’s (Control Operator’s) boot, cause the electrical panel was illegally put UNDER A DESK, in an alcove (solid sides, no escape if you get zapped). Dark ‘cause Architect put the bullet proof glass at a vertical angle. Crooks see in, you can’t see out! Had to work in complete darkness, No overtime for electronic repair peasants, so couldn’t work at night with the lights on.
    Local creep lawyer took over control of county case. Only lawyer brave enough to fight against county machine had to come almost from the Mexican Border (4-5 hours drive minimum).
    All of a sudden, my Disability payments freeze. No money, period.
    Morning of the trial, some young gal shows up claiming to be old enough to be my lawyer. Says guy who hired her is getting SUED by multiple agencies and isn’t coming! She cowers in front of the County Weasel.
    We are now losing our house, but finally got a 30-year home loan from local bank. I will never live to hold the deed in my hand. Slimebucket lawyer gets appointed (not elected) to County Judgeship by his pal, another slicksuit judge. Has TWO millionaire gated mansions at last count.
    Yeah, sure, it all SEEMS to be legal. But the stench of fish is overpowering.
    “JUSTICE” does not live here…

  11. Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.
    If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.
    A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.
    Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated
    are confident they are acting on their own free will.
    There was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted and would anyway always yield to the stronger, and this will always be “the man in the street.” Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect. Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology.
    Propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred.
    These are all quotes of the greatest master manipulator and the father of indoctrination of the public. Through the use of the press and education system. Joseph Goebbels. From whom the leaders of the Liberal Democrats have crafted their playbook, to their idea of the transformative society. The society that both Barack Obama and Joe Biden have spoke of about on numerous occasions.

  12. Well spoken Darkman.
    An honest man with charity for all in his heart stands no chance against the most unsophisticated gossip. Why?
    Because people INSIST on taking the EWO…
    the Easy Way Out. They listen, then act on, LIES. They are too timid to even consider asking the accused if there is any truth to the claims made by the gossipers. Indeed, the sappy individuals feel that they somehow got the “inside scoop” on something!
    They feel like they struck gold!
    These individuals unfortunately make up the bulk of our crumbling society.
    Fools. Who vote…

  13. It is past time for reparations. Who fought a war to keep slavery? The donks. Who fought tooth and nail to stop the civil rights movement? The donks. Who went all in on margerat sangers eugenics program? The donks. Who are constantly attempting to deny our human and civil rights? The donks.

    It is past time to seize the assets of the donks. Seize the property and the accounts of all elected donks and put that money into a national account to pay reparations.

    Ban the donks as a party. They are just as evil as anything done by hitler.

  14. If people realized how much of their tax money is spent to pay this out, and the tax money wasted making and enforcing the laws they should revolt at the ballot box. I don’t see that happening in a place like DC, nor any other major blue area because people are conditioned to be stupid by those who are supposed to serve them.

  15. The laws are made to Benefit the Lawyers not the plaintiffs as THEY wrote the laws to benefit THEMSELVES. Try passing a law against them and shit will hit the fan. Same with the Medical Industry.

  16. The two resident Marxist MIA???

    I’m betting they soiled their panties when they saw this story!!!

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