Federal Court Says D.C. Can Still Deny CCW Permits

Last month we told you about a lawsuit in Washington D.C. that resulted in a ruling by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. that said D.C's concealed carry laws are unconstitutional because they require gun owners to demonstrate a "good reason" in order to receive a permit.

Last week, a federal appeals court ordered a stay of Scullin's ruling, temporarily blocking his decision, according to this story from The Washington Post.

What got this whole thing started? Last year, Scullin ruled the District's long-standing ban on carrying firearms in public was unconstitutional, according to the story. As a result, the D.C. Council reworked the law in September to allow for a permitting process, but included a condition known as the "good reason/proper reason" requirement.

A lawsuit was filed against the city by D.C. residents Brian Wrenn and Joshua Akery, along with Tyler Whidby of Florida, who maintains a residence in Virginia, because of this requirement. They were denied permits because they were unable to demonstrate "a special need for self-protection distinguishable from the general community" or to provide evidence showing that they have been subject to "specific threats or previous attacks." For all permits, the Metropolitan Police Chief makes the final decision.

Scullin ruled this was unconstitutional and ordered D.C. to disregard the requirement. Soon after, city officials requested a stay, which would have allowed the city to continue enforcing the provision while it appealed the decision, but Scullin denied it on June 1 and the city was ordered to issue CCW permits, until this order from the federal court came down. And that brings us up to date.

Maryland, New York, and New Jersey have similar provisions in place.

The order wasn't accompanied by a judgement and the appeals court said the stay was intended to give it additional time to consider whether to block the lower court's (Scullin's) ruling on the good reason/proper reason requirement.

"The purpose of this administrative stay is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the merits of the motion for stay and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of that notion," the order reads.