Appeals court blocks DC’s concealed-carry law on Second Amendment grounds

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday struck down a District of Columbia gun-control measure that the court said is essentially an outright ban of the Second Amendment.

D.C. requires gun owners to have a “good reason” to obtain a concealed carry permit.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the regulation as too restrictive in a 2-1 decision, The Washington Post reported.

“The good-reason law is necessarily a total ban on most D.C. residents’ right to carry a gun in the face of ordinary self-defense needs,” Judge Thomas B. Griffith wrote, according to the paper.

“Bans on the ability of most citizens to exercise an enumerated right would have to flunk any judicial test.”

Judge Stephen F. Williams joined Griffith in the decision.

The decision deals another legal blow to efforts by city officials to rewrite gun regulations since the Supreme Court declared a Second Amendment right to gun ownership in a 2008 D.C. gun case, the paper reported.

John R. Lott, Jr of the Crime Prevention Research Center called the decision huge.

Right now there are about 124 concealed handgun permit holders in D.C., Lott told Fox News. “If D.C. were like the 42 right-to-carry states, they would have about 48,000 permits. Right now D.C. prevents the most vulnerable people, particularly poor blacks who live in high crime areas of D.C., from having any hope of getting a permit for protection.

The lone dissenter, Judge Karen Henderson, said the district’s regulation “passes muster” because of the city’s unique security challenges as the nation’s capital and because it does not affect the right to keep a firearm at home.

Gun rights groups and Republican attorneys general from more than a dozen states told the court that the District’s system is unconstitutional because the typical law-abiding citizen could not obtain a permit, the paper reported.

City officials could ask all the judges on the circuit to rule on the matter, if they elect to appeal the decision.

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