Federal Judge Makes Big Ruling in D.C. Gun Case

A federal court decision regarding Washington D.C.’s carry laws could have a big impact on the rest of the nation.

According to this story from dailycaller.com, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled Tuesday to stop a piece of the District's concealed carry legislation that requires a "good reason" for a law-abiding resident to be granted permission to acquire or carry a firearm.

In short, he says the “right to bear arms” includes the right to carry them outside the home for self-defense.

“In Heller, the Supreme Court unequivocally asserted that ‘the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. The District’s understandable, but overly zealous, desire to restrict the right to carry in public a firearm for self-defense to the smallest possible number of law-abiding, responsible citizens is exactly the type of policy choice the justices had in mind. Because the right to bear arms includes the right to carry firearms for self-defense both in and outside the home, I find that the District’s ‘good reason’ requirement likely places an unconstitutional burden on this right.”

In his ruling, Judge Leon is referring to District of Columbia v. Heller, a landmark case in which the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment applies to federal enclaves, like Washington D.C., and protects and individual's right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. It was the first Supreme Court case to decide whether the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. The later case of McDonald v. Chicago addressed the question of whether or not the ruling extends to the states.