D.C. Asks Federal Court to Erase Second Amendment Opinion Recognizing Right to Carry


Back in July, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia struck down Washington, D.C.'s ban on carrying handguns in public. Pointing to the Supreme Court's recent Second Amendment jurisprudence, the district court observed, "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 district court held in Palmer v. D.C., "the District of Columbia's complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional."

On Monday the D.C. government filed a new motion with that same court, asking for a reconsideration of the July ruling "because of a number of errors of law." According to D.C., the district court erred both by showing too little deference to local gun control laws and by holding that the right to carry arms in public falls within the scope of the Second Amendment in the first place. "The Court unnecessarily determined that the right to carry a handgun in public is at the core of the Second Amendment, and failed to consider both the historical pedigree of prohibitions on public carrying and the District's important justifications for its prohibition," the city's motion for reconsideration asserts.

It's a weak ploy. Like it or not, Judge Frederick Scullin's opinion in Palmer v. D.C. is a careful piece of work. There's nothing in it that rises to the level of "errors of law." The District of Columbia should face legal reality and stop trying to dodge the Second Amendment.

For more on D.C.'s gun control regime, see Reason TV's "Girls, Guns, and the Problem with D.C. Firearm Laws."