Dick Heller vs DC
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert
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Dick Heller is probably laughing to himself today. Late yesterday, US District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that Washington, D.C. is liable for six wrongful arrests made in the years after the D.C. vs Heller Supreme Court decision was handed down. The individuals in question were arrested between 2012 and 2014 for carrying handguns in public.

The city, which had the strictest gun control laws in the nation, didn’t like the Court’s ruling and enacted new restrictions on carrying firearms in the capital.

From the Washington Post . . .

The District enacted new restrictions on openly carrying firearms in the city, but a federal judge in July 2014 and an appeals court in July 2017 again struck down regulations requiring residents to show “proper reason” to do so, such as a fear of injury or transporting valuables. The 2014 ruling also barred the city from enforcing carrying restrictions against people “based solely on the fact that they are nonresidents.”

The city subsequently repealed statutes criminalizing possession of firearms not registered in D.C., possession of ammunition by people without a D.C.-registered firearm and otherwise barring possession by nonresidents.

The city claimed the Second Amendment violating laws were necessary given the city’s “gun violence” problem and it couldn’t have known it was violating anyone’s rights until the post-Heller laws were struck down. Lamberth didn’t buy that argument.

Instead, Lamberth ruled, laws banning carrying firearms in public and nonresidents from registering firearms, and permitting the arrest of nonresidents for carrying weapons or ammunition without a license, “go the core of the Second Amendment.” The judge said the amendment preserves the “right of responsible citizens to carry firearms for personal self-defense beyond the home, subject to long-standing restrictions,” quoting the 2017 opinion, Wrenn v. District of Columbia.

“The District violated the plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights by arresting them, detaining them, prosecuting them, and seizing their guns based on an unconstitutional set of D.C. laws,” Lamberth wrote.

The ruling covered six individuals, but as many as 4500 people were arrested and 1900 prosecuted by the city during the years the laws were in place, so expect more claims for damages.

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    • Except the US taxpayers, namely us, are going to be the ones penalized. They should be able to sue the politicians directly and take the fines from them.

      • Rights may be free, but they are not free to defend.

        Its no different from what happens to defend the 1st, 3’rd, 4th, etc… amendments, someone somewhere has to pay and if it involves a court or the legal system that will be the tax payers paying for it. In our system these things are “funded” by the tax payers who eventually end up paying for everything anyway. Even if you could sue the politicians the tax payers would end up paying in some way anyway because simply the court operating means tax payer funds are expended.

        • Slapping DC’s laws in the dirt is worth it. Eventually we will make the frickin libs pay for this crap they brought upon themselves, God willing. We have no place for human worshipping libs in a Christian nation.

      • Well, but the upside is that, if they try it again, no ‘qualified’ immunity, because they’re already on notice that they’d be violating a constitutional right.

        So any officer that attempts such an arrest going forward ought to be able to be personally sued, not just in their official capacity.

  1. 1) The Second Amendment is one thing.

    2) The criminal misuse of firearms, bricks, bats, knives, etc. is another thing.

    3) History Confirms Gun Control in any shape, matter or form is a racist and nazi based Thing.

  2. Punish governments in the only way you can, taking away their revenue. It would be better if the politicians who voted for this could be held personally liable!

    • I’m with you on that. I believe that if a politician puts in place a law that violates the constitution, they should at the very least be held financially liable but would rather see them held criminally liable. Same thing goes with laws that put people at risk that has nothing to do with the constitution. For instance, the liberals push for bail reform that is allowing criminals out to commit more crimes. I heard about one guy who got out six times for six crimes back to back. Those affected by the crime should not only be able to sue the city, but the politician who created that law. Guarantee that we would see less of these as asinine liberal laws.

    • Unfortunately, the Government’s response is to increase Taxes to pay for these indiscretions. Personal liability for enacting unjust laws sounds great, however, it would take a Constitutional Convention since no government would levy that requirement on themselves. It also would open up a significant can of worms and make our society even more litigious. A “prosecution pays” for a lost lawsuit might be better, as it would likely reduce frivolous lawsuits.

      • And a one-year time limit on any suit from the date of filing. If time runs out, defendant wins automatically and plaintiff is fined for wasting the court’s time.

      • Yep, too bad the D.C. officials can’t be held personally responsible. As it is, the citizens will foot the bill for the lawsuit expenses and their own settlements, unless it’s paid by insurance, and then they still pay the premiums. A victory, but something of Pyrrhic one.

    • Rusty….Those that passed the illegal laws and prosecuted the citizens, including the judges should serve 15 yr. prison sentences with no parole. Include mayor, city counsel.

  3. Because of the racist/nazi nature of Gun Control someone please explain why the 1968 Gun Control Act remains on the books? Did anyone take the time to define Gun Control for the knee jerk 1968 Congress and that meathead democRat LBJ? Apparently not.

    Gun Control has to be properly defined for history illiterate milquetoast spoon fed America by setting an example and ripping the 1968 Gun Control Act from the books. The 1968 congress went haywire with the word Control so much the stench of racism and nazism permeates from it.

    Where are the embarrassed to be an American WOKE self righteous ratbassturds who are actually democRats when such Control remains on the books? Nowhere. They would rather spend time talking about racism by pointing fingers at white when history shows their party the democRat Party owns race based atrocities lock, stock and barrel. Someone needs to wake up the hypocrite woke to their own party history.

    What’s the difference between Gun Control and slave shacks, nooses, cross burning, concentration camps, gas chambers, swastikas and the like? Absolutely Nothing.

    • Debbie W…… The difference is that the right hand was forbidden to do the things that you mention so now they are using their left hand. The law only forbids the right hand from infringing on these rights. Any infringement used to deny anyone’s constitutional rights should be removed .

  4. When the hell will a Federal judge issue a similar ruling against New Jersey?????
    As it stands now, New Jersey is the only state in America where it’s IMPOSSIBLE to get a concealed carry license (or any type of carry license) unless you’re a cop or extremely high political connections.
    You can’t even have a flare gun in your car in New Jersey, FFS.

    • Stuck,

      Sorry, Charlie, but CA is at least as demented as NJ. BOTH states (along with NY, MA, RI, DE, and a host of others too numerous to call out individually) p*** all over the 2A on the daily, and SO FAR, our dear SCOTUS has seen fit to sit back and watch while numerous Circuit Courts of Appeal have play fast and loose with a (relatively) clear SCOTUS ruling (Heller). SCOTUS needs to grow a pair, and issue a ruling that basically says “No, goddamit, the 2A actually MEANS what it clearly SAYSS – quit trying to f*** with people’s inherent natural rights!!”. But they probably won’t.

  5. Although this is just an interim and thus nonappealable order (though a writ is a possibility) expect this to be appealed. Faced with a huge liability, the City really has no choice but to do so.

  6. If the politicians and or city leader were personally liable for what they should have know was unconstitutional, they should be held personally liable. If they closed all Jewish churches because they simply didn’t like Jews, what would happen? Heads would roll. Other constitutional protections shouldn’t have more leeway for abuses.

  7. Sheet holes as DC, NJ ,DE, etc need to be dragged before the SCOTUS and finally have their guts kicked in per·ma·nent·ly to no longer infringe on our God Given Rights. Whether the Second ,First or whatever they need to be taught a severe and quick lesson !

  8. “Whether the Second ,First or whatever they need to be taught a severe and quick lesson !”

    How, and by whom?

    The lower courts entertained themselves by ignoring “Heller” and “McDonald”. The SC issued no contempt citations, or injunctions. The SC ignored the flaunting of their rulings. Who was/is supposed to enforce SC opinions?

  9. Our God given rights, per the laws of our country under the Bill of Rights, are the most precious things we possess. The blatant infringement of those rights is an arrogant depriving by choice. I would demand no less that $10 million per case.


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