Federal Court Denies D.C.’s Request for Delay in Concealed-Carry Case

On May 28, 2015, the federal district court judge handling the challenge to the District of Columbia’s “good reason” concealed-carry permit requirement denied the city’s request for an immediate administrative stay of his ruling last week granting a preliminary injunction against further enforcement of the requirement.

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is one of the plaintiffs in the case, Wrenn v. District of Columbia.

SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb said in a statement, “The Second Amendment Foundation is pleased that the court ruled immediately against the city and has forced them to start issuing carry permits. By now they should realize that when we say we will do everything in our legal power to force them to recognize that people have Second Amendment rights, we mean it.”

The city has required concealed-carry applicants to provide justification for wanting a permit to carry firearms outside the home for personal protection. Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. ruled that the requirement “impinges on Plaintiff’s Second Amendment right to bear arms,” so the city would have been legally required to start offering carry permits under more lenient rules.

The city’s request for a stay, which Scullin denied, would have put that process on hold. The District is also seeking a stay pending appeal.

When Judge Scullin denied the District’s administrative stay request, he also set two important dates. By June 22, SAF and its co-plaintiffs must file papers opposing the city’s stay pending appeal request, and the city must respond by June 26.

“Bearing arms is a civil right,” Gottlieb said, “not a government-regulated privilege subject to arbitrary discretion. This case isn’t about making a political statement, but about making the District of Columbia comply with an earlier court ruling, and with the constitution.”

“The city is running out of wiggle room,” he added, “and should immediately start issuing permits to all citizens who meet the legal qualifications.”

Under Judge Scullin’s order, attorneys representing SAF and the District will appear in court July 7 to argue the city’s motion for a stay pending appeal of his initial May 18 ruling.

In non-legal terms, that means the District wants the judge to put a hold on his ruling while (or if) the District appeals the ruling to a higher court. If Judge Scullin agrees and stays the decision, it could be years before the District’s appeal is heard, then possibly further delays if the appeals court decision is appealed.

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