Sunday, July 27, 2014

Baby Steps

One small ray of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy political climate. Amazing how this story has managed to stay under the radar all weekend long.

Federal judge declares D.C. ban on carrying handguns in public unconstitutional
A federal judge has declared that one of the District’s principal gun control laws is unconstitutional and ordered that its enforcement be halted.

The ruling by Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr., made public Saturday, orders the city to end its prohibition against carrying a pistol in public.

The order was addressed to the District of Columbia and Police Chief Cathy Lanier, as well as their employees and officers and others “who receive actual notice” of the ruling. But it could not be determined Sunday who had received notice. Also unclear was whether the city would appeal and what effect that would have on the enforcement ban.

Ted Gest, a spokesman for the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, which defended the city’s ban, said the city is studying the opinion and its options, which include appealing the judge’s ruling and asking the judge to stop his ruling from going into effect during any appeal.

A spokeswoman for the police department said Saturday night that she was not aware of the ruling. On Sunday, Delroy Burton, the head of the D.C. police union, said that police officers had not received official instructions about whether to enforce the handgun law in light of the ruling.

The case was heard by Scullin, a senior U.S. District judge who normally sits in New York. In his ruling, Scullin said that, based on recent decisions, “there is no longer any basis” to conclude that the city’s “total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional.”

Scullin said he was stopping enforcement of the law “unless and until” the city adopted a constitutionally valid licensing mechanism.
I'm sure there are several more rounds of appeals pending, but this, along with the overturning of a similar ban in Chicago, are small steps in the right direction.


Well Seasoned Fool said...

The s.o.b.'s got five years of enforcement before the courts ruled. Wonder how many cases will now be overturned?

Haven't heard if the ruling applies to ammunition.

CenTexTim said...

All true, but still ... baby steps...