Gun Owners Battle D.C.'s Reluctance to Issue Concealed Carry Permits

The Office of the Attorney General-District of Columbia appealed Leon’s May 17 decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The Office of the AG also won a full stay of Leon’s ruling from the Court of Appeals, which brought to an end a rush on the D.C. Police for CCW applications.

The Washington Times reported that in the 10 days following Leon’s ruling 85 people filed for concealed weapons permits, compared to the 61 who had applied for a permit in the past six months.

“This stay is good news for public safety in our city because it means we may continue enforcing our gun laws in full,” said AG Karl Racine in a statement. “We believe that the District’s gun laws are reasonable and necessary to ensure public safety in a dense urban area.”

“We continue to believe our ‘good reason’ requirement for a concealed-carry permit is both constitutional and in line with similar laws in New Jersey, New York, and Maryland – all of which have been upheld by federal appeals courts,” Racine added.

Oral arguments before the Court of Appeals are scheduled to begin Sept. 20.

Grace v. D.C. is only one of the CCW cases facing federal judges Karen LeCraft Henderson, Thomas B. Griffith and Stephen F. Williams that day.

They will also hear the case of Brian Wrenn, who like Grace has not been able to get a concealed-carry permit in the District of Columbia.

However, a strong case is planned by supporters of the idea that a gun owner should have to prove why he needs the weapon outside his home.

Ten other state attorneys general have lined up on the other side of the argument, filing an amicus brief for D.C.’s decision to block Grace’s CCW request.

The states of California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Washington support the D.C. policy, as do the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and Everytown for Gun Safety.

“Good reason” is the law in San Diego County, just as in D.C., and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California upheld the county’s law in June.

The California Pistol & Rifle Association and five gun owners sued San Diego County claiming the county’s “may issue” permitting process violated Second Amendment gun rights.

Both sides are prepared for the long haul. They predict if the Court of Appeals in D.C. should rule against the District of Columbia in either lawsuit, the result could be a Second Amendment showdown before the U.S. Supreme Court.