Concludes a blanket ban of carry of handguns outside the home cannot survive ANY level of scrutiny, and is therefore unconstitutional.
Well, well, well–I guess the big guy upstairs knew I could do with a pick-me-up while I struggle through this respiratory infection. And boy, did he deliver big (with a h/t to Ace of Spades HQ).
In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, 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. Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional.
Palmer v. District of Columbia (1:09-CV-1482 , filed July 26, 2014; full decision at the end of this post).
This should, of course, be the common fate of virtually every gun law currently on the books, particularly when (as is the only proper legal course) strict scrutiny is applied to the thousands of state and Federal laws that continue to irrationally infringe our rights to keep and bear arms.
Kudos to Attorney Alan Gura, for his continuing masterful efforts in defense and promotion of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. As Alan noted in his own blog, Reality-Based Litigation:
In 2012, I won Moore v. Madigan, 702 F.3d 933 (7th Cir. 2012), which struck down Illinois total ban on the carrying of defensive handguns outside the home. With this decision in Palmer, the nation’s last explicit ban of the right to bear arms has bitten the dust. Obviously, the carrying of handguns for self-defense can be regulated. Exactly how is a topic of severe and serious debate, and courts should enforce constitutional limitations on such regulation should the government opt to regulate. But totally banning a right literally spelled out in the Bill of Rights isn’t going to fly. My deepest thanks to the Second Amendment Foundation for making this victory possible and to my clients for hanging in there. Congratulations Americans, your capital is not a constitution-free zone.
No doubt the pols of the District of Columbia will continue to fight tooth and nail to deny American citizens their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms in the public ways of our Capital city–commenter Christopher Talbot at Ace of Spades suggests they’ll now pass a holster ban–so the fight is far from won.
This piece of the victory, however, makes for a very nice Saturday afternoon, indeed! And here, as promised, is the full-length of the decision. Enjoy!
P.S. The newest Law of Self Defense University Video/Podcast has just been released: “#004: The Intersection of Tactics and Law.” Enjoy!
Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He holds many state-specific Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and produces free online self-defense law educational video- and podcasts at the Law of Self Defense University.