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D.C. Denies That It Ordered Cops to Ignore a Court Order Requiring them To Not Reject Gun Carry Permit Requests for Lack of "Good Reason"

Devin Watkins wrote at The Federalist today that an officer accepting his application for a concealed carry permit in D.C. told him outright that he'd been told by the city's Attorney General's office to ignore a recent court order overturning an old requirement that a permit receiver must have a "good reason" to get his permit. (See Jacob Sullum from last week, "Federal Judge Tells D.C. to Stop Demanding a 'Good Reason' for Carrying a Gun.")

As Watkins wrote at The Federalist:

I went to apply for a concealed-carry permit in the District of Columbia. The police officers there told me the D.C. attorney general’s office had ordered them to ignore the court order and continue to deny applications. Thinking there might be some kind of mistake, I contacted the AG’s office, which explicitly told me if I had a complaint about what they did I could file that complaint online.

In a phone interview with Watkins, I got him to elaborate. The city has 90 days to consider the application, so he has not officially been denied yet. The incident occurred on May 17.

Richard Leon/WikipediaRichard Leon/Wikipedia

But Watkins says what the receiving officer told him—he did not get the name—strongly implied that his lack of listing the "good reason" would mean he would be denied, and that they had been told by the attorney general's office to ignore the ruling.

Watkins handed in a copy of that ruling along with his application. He does not know the name or position of the person at the attorney general's office who responded to his complaint about the matter with telling him he should just file a complaint online.

As Watkins wrote in a follow up email:

 I told [the officer taking his application] “you do understand that ignoring a court order could potentially find you in contempt of court.” They said “look sir, this is not a court of law. We just do what our superiors like the AGs office order us to do.” I insisted that they take my application anyway even if they were going to deny it in the end.

The city did on May 18 write in a press release that "we believe that the District's gun laws are reasonable and necessary to ensure public safety in a dense urban area, and we will request a stay of this decision while we appeal."

But Robert Marus, a press officer for the D.C. attorney general's office, vigorously denied that they'd given any such order to disobey the order in the meantime.

In an emailed statement, he wrote "the Office of the Attorney General has not and would not instruct any officer of the District government to ignore any Court order" and directed me to a statement on the D.C. police website as of May 19 that reads in part:

the Metropolitan Police Department will not require applicants to comport with the “Good Reason” requirement under D.C. Official Code § 7-2509.11(1)(A) & (B), while the injunction is effective (see “Grace Preliminary Injunction” document, attached below).

Applicants must still meet all other requirements when applying for a license to carry a concealed firearm.  Applicants who were previously denied pursuant to the “Good Reason” requirement may submit a new application.  The application fee for re-applicants meeting this criteria will be waived. 

Marus further said in an interview that "we are checking with the [police department] to make sure people aren't mistakenly verbally giving wrong information."

Watkins says the form available to him on May 17 when the incident occurred was still the old one. He sent me this link to the police site, which indeed still asks about your "good reason" for wanting the permit.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon's order overturning the "good reason" requirement.

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  • Atlas Slugged||

    DC waiting for DNC Chair to make ruling who is waiting on national polling results which waiting for a progressive columnist to tell us how the 2A should be repealed....

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    The 2nd amendment is a pretty good reason.

  • Don'tTreadOnMeChipper||

    "....shall not be infringed." So the AG's office just need a dictionary?

  • croaker||

    They need a woodchipper.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    To put the Constitution in?

  • AlexInCT||

    When I recently went with my son to help him get his permit considering the morass you have to deal with in "The People's Republic of Connecticut" to even get what you need to put in the application, I commented to the town person we had to deal with to complete just the application part that it seemed to require way to much bureaucratic crap to exercise a guaranteed constitutional right. That town person proceeded to tell me I should be happy they have so much process considering what some of the people that came in to get it looked like.

    I probably should have just kept my trap shut, but I couldn't. So I asked hew what she meant? Did they have the wrong skin color? Where they not clean cut enough for her tastes? Did they have tattoos or look like blue collar workers? Where they not as differential to her authority as she wanted, and was my son now in trouble because I didn't kiss her ass hard enough? I mean, WTF other than the criminal background or insanity that the documentation in CT says are grounds for denial, could disqualify someone other than a nasty woman with delusions of grandeur and a penchant for screwing over those she disapproves of, can be grounds for disapproval.

    I tell you, these people have an agenda, and it is not something pretty...

  • Who needs a reason?||

    I might say no to a tattooed person. Tattoos on a person is like graffiti in a neighborhood. What I say might not be unicorns and rainbows but it's pretty true.

  • ||

    Holy fuck, Dan Aykroyd is a U.S. District Judge now?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Seems like a motivated mainstream investigative journalist could make some hay out of this. But...

  • ||

    Not with only one witness who didn't even get the name. Reason tipped them off. You can be damn sure they're going to have a new script in place by tomorrow morning.

  • ||

    Motivated seems like the operative word there.

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    I dunno. I don't think there are that many reporters in DC.

  • ||

    Liberal media? What liberal media ??

  • Hugh Akston||

    I told them “you do understand that ignoring a court order could potentially find you in contempt of court.”

    What's the penalty for that again? Scaphism or a mere gibbeting?

  • R C Dean||

    Paid vacation. Duh.

  • ||

    What's the penalty?

    You're forced to work in the office and process bullshit gun permits.

  • Alcibiades||

    Increased my vocabulary by one word today, though not sure that's a plus.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Looks like someone is getting "SugarFree's Illustrated Word of the Day Calendar" for Christmas this year.

  • croaker||

    We get to see how many times we can run you through a woodchipper.

  • This Machine||

    So, the AG's office is lying, or the cops are lying. I'm not sure who not to believe!

  • Billy Bones||

    General rule-of-thumb, neither.

  • croaker||

    Both.

  • Feiel||

    Or Watkins is lying?

  • Je suis Woodchipper||

    “you do understand that ignoring a court order could potentially find you in contempt of court.”

    “look sir, this is not a court of law. We just do what our superiors like the AGs office order us to do.”

    sigh

  • croaker||

    They're pretty confident that the judge won't drop them in GenPop.

  • ||

    Bad move, Reason. You don't report on things like this, you send in undercover testers who will get the DC employees name. Then you report on that. Or, if that's too close to advocacy journalism you tip off someone and sit on the story for a few days.

  • R C Dean||

    Marus further said in an interview that "we are checking with the [police department] to make sure people aren't mistakenly verbally giving wrong correct information."

    Yeah, like this cop just made up the story that he'd been ordered to ignore the court. What's really got them torqued is that he told the truth. To a "civilian"! I mean, does this guy even know how to cop?

  • Brochettaward||

    These laws are very obviously and very clearly in violation of the Supreme Courts rulings (as well as the recent ruling from the lower courts specifically on this case). This will be the third set of DC gun laws struck down now by the courts. It will go one of two ways:
    1. They will lose and simply pass a new, slightly modified law.
    2. It will drag on until there is a favorable make-up on the Court willing to take this up and reverse previous rulings.

    #2 is the real goal.

    It is a stark reminder that we need real punishments for lawmakers who pass unconstitutional laws. Or at the least a review process that does not require citizens to jump through hoops to prove standing and waste large amounts of resources fighting the government to exercise rights.

    The whole standing thing pisses me off the most. Sure, the law may be unconstitutional - but it's no business of yours or apparently anyone else in the country. Case dismissed.

  • fafalone||

    Really makes me wonder how NYC's gun laws haven't been struck down. Not only do you need a "good reason", the good reasons are explicitly limited to extensively documented evidence of a very serious threat to you specifically, or a job that you can convince them can't just be limited to while you're working. That's it, no other reasons allowed, and they'll still deny basically all carry applications besides on-duty carry, and the processing time is measured in years.

    But I guess it's because the whole government straight up to the supremes goes off the double super secret version of the constitution the public has never seen which says "may not be infringed, except if the person has ever committed even such a minor crime as possessing the wrong plant, or lives in an urban area, or wants the wrong type of gun..." and goes on for some such pages ending with "and all this applies to only the 2nd amendment".

  • WWFSMD-Chipper||

    Unless you are a celebrity with mad $$$ / and/or political connections (DeNiro, Howard Stern, some doofus named "Trump",) just a few from memory, OR you are hip to the former best practice of using the guy heavily connected to the Local Hasidic private police force / child-abuse cover-up squad who would bribe the NYPD to get you a carry permit for $15,000 - $20,000... See the current and remarkably, even by local news standard, poorly covered scandal in NYC and Rockland County.... see 'Black Market in scarce / forbidden goods or services.."

    Good Cause, my tucchas.

    http://gothamist.com/2016/04/1.....th_the.php

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new.....e-1.441377

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "a dense urban area"

    Is nobody going to call these progs on their racism?

    Can they be a bit more specific about why an "dense urban area" is allegedly more dangerous than a rural area?

    Can they be a bit more specific about why they need to forcibly disarm elderly black ladies, or black businessmen, because they're in a "dense urban area," while Hank Good ol'Boy in the rural area gets to have his stock of hunting weapons*?

    Draw them out..."are you saying that the, ah, *demographics* of a dense urban area are particularly dangerous?"

    "Uh, well, kind of, I mean, yes, but not really, not as such...."

    *OK, subject to game laws

  • R C Dean||

    I like that. Somebody should bring a civil rights suit against DC for its law having an unequal impact on blacks. They'd lose, but it would be lulzy as hell.

  • Juice||

    Would they really lose though?

  • Doctor Whom||

    I've long heard that density increases the need for both government spending and government intervention, even in cases in which you'd think it would have the opposite effect. It's one of the euphemisms for FYTW.

  • ||

    Rot row! Looks like it's Rico's turn to do the PM links today...

  • Juice||

    Marus further said in an interview that "we are checking with the [police department] to make sure people aren't mistakenly verbally giving wrong information."

    According to the Supreme Court it wouldn't really matter that much if they were mistaken.

  • Feiel||

    Conservative victim complex at work, again.

  • TBlakely||

    So how many permits have they approve so far this year?

  • simplybe||

    It may not be a good idea to allow D.C. residents to carry guns. People there probably dislike politicians and lobbyists more than the rest of the nation since they have to be around the lying thieves all the time. Then on second thought hmmmm.

  • Fred Zuccini||

    "we believe that the District's gun laws are reasonable and necessary to ensure public safety in a dense urban area, and we will request a stay of this decision while we appeal."

    In other words, we don't want an increase in the amount of gun play taking place in the District, but since we are absolutely worthless and ineffective at stopping the local predators from shooting we can only limit the amount of gun play by keeping you from shooting back to defend yourself. The idea that getting shot might actually discourage predators from shooting in the first place is beyond our comprehension. Your rights don't mean shit.

  • Fred Zuccini||

    "we believe that the District's gun laws are reasonable and necessary to ensure public safety in a dense urban area, and we will request a stay of this decision while we appeal."

    In other words, we don't want an increase in the amount of gun play taking place in the District, but since we are absolutely worthless and ineffective at stopping the local predators from shooting we can only limit the amount of gun play by keeping you from shooting back to defend yourself. The idea that getting shot might actually discourage predators from shooting in the first place is beyond our comprehension. Your rights don't mean shit.

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