Federal Judge Rules Ban On Carrying Firearms In D.C. Unconstitutional

| by Kathryn Schroeder

Banning residents from carrying firearms outside of their home has been deemed unconstitutional in the District of Columbia.

Federal Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. overturned the city’s ban in his ruling Palmer v. District of Columbia.  The ruling finds the right to bear arms extends outside the home, and thus gun-control laws are considered unconstitutional.

“We won,” Alan Gura, the lead attorney for the Second Amendment Foundation, told Fox News. “I’m very pleased with the decision that the city can’t forbid the exercise of a fundamental constitutional right."

Residents of the District are now allowed to carry a weapon within its boundaries. The court also ordered other states to allow the same right.

An appeal is expected by the District, but Gura plans to keep fighting.

“We’ll be happy to keep the fight going,” Gura said.

According to legal sources of the Washington Post, all parties in a case must be duly informed of a ruling and given the opportunity to appeal before it takes effect.

At the time of publication, the D.C. attorney's general office had not seen the order, nor had the police department.

Judge Scullin concludes in his decision that “there is no longer any basis on which this court can conclude that the District of Columbia's total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny.”

A future gun-control law is still possible as Judge Scullin wrote that the court “enjoins Defendants from enforcing the home limitations of [D.C. firearms laws] unless and until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

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