D.C. Sued Over 'Good Reason' CCW Requirement

We thought our Law Shield members would like to know that a federal lawsuit challenging the District of Columbia’s highly restrictive concealed-carry permit requirement has been filed. D.C. requires that applicants provide a “good reason” before such a permit is issued. We believe such a restriction violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by three private citizens, Brian Wrenn and Joshua Akery, both of Washington, D.C., and Tyler Whidby, a Florida resident who also maintains a residence in Virginia, and the Second Amendment Foundation. The city and Police Chief Cathy Lanier are named as defendants.

The lawsuit asserts that “individuals cannot be required to prove a ‘good reason’ or ‘other proper reason’ for the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.” All three individual plaintiffs in the case have applied for District carry permits and have been turned down by Lanier because they could not “Demonstrate a good reason to fear injury to person or property.”

In our view, the city’s requirements to obtain a carry permit are so restrictive that virtually all applicants could be — or will be — turned down. At the time of this writing, only eight permits have been allowed, so it’s plain to see that very few situations will sufficient for Chief Lanier to issue a permit.

The city is still appealing its earlier loss in Palmer v. D.C., which struck down the city’s total ban on carrying handguns. The courts have not yet decided that the city’s “may issue” law violates the Palmer injunction.

“We will give the courts every chance to bring Washington, D.C. into constitutional compliance,” said attorney Alan Gura, who represents the plaintiffs in both cases.

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