WASHINGTON TIMES — In a strike against the District’s strict firearms laws, a federal judge has blocked the city’s police chief from requiring gun owners to prove they have a “good reason” to obtain a concealed carry permit.
Tuesday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon revives the battle over gun rights in the nation’s capital by temporarily banning enforcement of a key portion of the city’s “may issue” laws, which have kept the number of concealed carry permits to a minimum.
“Because the right to bear arms includes the right to carry firearms for self-defense both in and outside the home, I find that the District’s ‘good reason’ requirement likely places an unconstitutional burden on this right,” Judge Leon wrote in a 46-page opinion that granted a preliminary injunction while the case plays out in court.
The lawsuit is at least the second to challenge concealed carry laws adopted by the District to comply with a federal judge’s 2014 ruling that overturned the city’s long-standing ban on the carrying of firearms in public.
Some states have sought to restrict concealed carry permits more than others. In Missouri, lawmakers last week approved a sweeping expansion that allows people to carry guns without obtaining permits.
Meanwhile, federal appeals courts have upheld restrictive “good reason” requirements similar to the District’s in New Jersey, New York and Maryland. A decision is pending from the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a “good reason” challenge in California.