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Conceal and Carry in DC?

Conceal and Carry in DC?

On the heels of a recent victory in Heller knocking down the District of Columbia’s ban on residents keeping handguns in their homes, the lawyer responsible for that victory now seeks to expand gun rights further.  In a lawsuit filed last week, three D.C. residents ask for the right to carry and conceal weapons in public.  The three residents had their gun registration applications rejected when they informed the police that they intended to carry loaded guns outside of their homes.  Two of the three residents were also plaintiffs in the previous D.C. gun case.  The Bellevue, Washington nonprofit gun-advocacy organization Second Amendment Foundation is also a plaintiff in the suit.

The suit also seeks to extend the right to carry a gun to non-District residents who have gun permits issued elsewhere.  According to the lawyer for the plaintiffs, many non-District residents who have gun permits from other jurisdictions are not aware that they cannot bring guns into D.C. and are often arrested for minor violations and then jailed once officers discover their concealed weapons.  The suit would force the District to recognize any conceal-and-carry permits issued from other jurisdictions.

Opponents of conceal-and-carry argue that increasing the number of armed citizens on the streets creates a nightmare for law enforcement.  This is particularly true in D.C. with the heightened security due to the large number of federal buildings and employees.

Both sides agree that this recent case will test the limits of the Heller decision, and many see the filing of the case as intending to do just that.  The Heller decision was grounded on the rationale that a person had a Second Amendment right to keep a handgun in their home for self-protection and was seen by many constitutional scholars as an expansion of Second Amendment jurisprudence.  Even in wiping away the Districts previous ban on handguns, Justice Scalia wrote that “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited,” suggesting that the Court would entertain drawing the boundaries of the right to own a weapon for personal protection.  The question posed in this current litigation is whether or not the right to own a weapon for personal protection can be extended to the right to carry a concealed, loaded weapon in public for protection as well.

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photo courtesy of Kevitivity via Flickr

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89 comments

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6:38AM PDT on Apr 1, 2010

I not only support the passage of laws allowing concealed carry I do not believe that the State has the right to deny me the right to do so - whether or not I have a "permit" issued by agents of the State who have decided that I am not a threat. While, ordinarily, I have great respect for Justice Scalia, I believe that he erred in Heller when he asserted that "reasonable" restrictions may be placed on the right to keep and bear arms. He has a different idea of what the phrase "shall not be infringed" means than I do. What is "reasonable" to the Brady anti-gun organization is not "reasonable" to those who believe that they have a right to defend themselves and others from harm inflicted upon them by criminals. It is interesting to note that all of the massacres carried out by armed criminals have taken place in places where the State, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that the right to keep and bear arms is not operative. Hospitals, schools, army bases, and other places where concealed carry is not allowed are nothing other than havens for armed criminals to commit crimes within. Criminals know that they will face no opposition from the law-abiding public in such areas and they take advantage of that fact to kill and terrorize members of that public.

8:43AM PDT on Sep 7, 2009

You sound like my mother. She was an English major and drummed proper use of the language it into me constantly. :-)

BTW,

1/ Shorthand for On The Other Hand, OTOH is commonly used in text based communications such as chat. (Google)
2/ An acronym or text message used in online chat, IM, e-mail, blogs, or newsgroup postings. (Google)

As I mentioned, the 2nd. Am. has nothing to do with the overturn of the DC gun ban. However, the right to self-defense is an esoteric concept having many legal and social ramifications in many persons minds. The 2nd Am provides a legal written document that implicitly incorporates that concept, thusly, it becomes the only convenient reference on which the Supreme Court could "hang it's hat", so to speak.

I'm glad to see that there are still persons like you around to uphold the tenets of the English language.

Don

7:39AM PDT on Sep 7, 2009

The government, the media, and other sources needs to quit lying and covering up the truth just to gain a dollar. The main thing is the government now and from the past has gotten so many people to beleiving the money is the most important thing in life but they are wrong yes I am POOR but I also know that if I was a millionaire when I die I can't take it with me and money doesn't buy you happiness, love, or life that is worth living.
The government needs to quit wasting money and expecting us citizen's to pay for their wastings. Just like when the terrorist came over here the one's that wasn't already here took and tore up our country and when we went to their country to get them, whatever was tore up in that process, then our government took our money and still is taking our money and sending it over there to fix what was tore up, but Iraq and none of the other countries has sent us money nor any kind of help to fix what their people came here and destoried.
Just like the mexican president along with so many government officials are blaming us for the drug wars in mexico, but if the truth would be told it is mexico's own fault and our guns aren't the one's mainly being used to kill people in their drug war, there is only about 5 or 10 percent of the guns that goes from the United States that are used in the drug war in mexico, mexico and the U.S. government aren't gonna tell us the full truth about it. What about all the drugs and guns that come from all the other coun

7:14AM PDT on Sep 7, 2009

The government complains about hate crimes and groups but yet they support the athiest which is a hate group and homosexuality is a sickness just like drug addiction or alcohol addictions, then you have other people from other countries coming to live in our country and just because they don't like something all they have to do is yell that it infringes on their religon or whatever and the government takes it away from us to please them, just like praying in school it infringes on others religons, or beliefs and so the government takes it away but what about our rights, what about our beliefs and our history. The government is gonna discriminate against us to please and outsider that isn't fair and it isn't right, if a person from another country wants to come to our country and live then they should speak, live, abide, and go with the way our country is not bring there country to ours and expect us to change to live they way they did in their country, if they liked their country so well then they need to go back to their country and leave our's alone.

The government don't allow us americans to hollar discrimination about anything so why should so one from another country come here and expect us to live as they had to do in their country and if we do something they don't like then they are allowed to hollar discrimination and the government takes it away from us and gives them their way and we shouldn't have to live like that here in our country.

6:56AM PDT on Sep 7, 2009

I am a legal and I have my concealed carry permit and yes I had to take a safety coarse, qualify on the range, go through a severe background check, go in front of the judge and everything before I was given my permit. No I am not a violent criminal or anything in such a manner I even served 8 years in the Marine Corps. but that didn't matter or even have any bearing on my permit.

The problem is many of the politicians and government people has let their jobs go to their heads and they want to turn our country into communist living. Pelosi, Holder, Clinton, Obama and his administration are against people owing guns and defending themselves from criminals and we all know there isn't enough law enforcement officers to protect everyone at the same time, the law officers can't be everywhere every second, now by saying this I am not saying that we should go out and look for crimes to solve ourselves but if we are attacked by a criminal or if we are near a situation and we can very possibly help defend someone from being attacked by criminals than we should do so as a concerned citizen, but there is steps that should be taken before engaging ourselves into a situation that may involve the use of our firearms.

By no means should the government be allowed to infringe on our rights like they have done and are still doing. The government has taken our right to religon, they are infringing on our rights about freedom of speech and our right to keep and bear arms.

10:47AM PDT on Sep 4, 2009

Gene, I do not consider someone who uses "texting lingo" to be a competent grammarian. The Supreme Court DID use experts in its analysis of the 2nd. Am. That is how it came to the conclusion that the right to keep and bear arms is a right of the people.
In any event, overturning the DC gun ban has nothing to do with the 2nd. Am, it has everything to do with our inalienable right to self-defense.

5:58AM PDT on Aug 28, 2009

Yes, Don, the Supreme Court does not agree with me. OTOH, nobody thought to get a decent grammarian's opinion of the exact wording of the Second Amendment, either. Had they, unless they wouldn't accept expert witness, they would not have cited the Second as an excuse to overturn the DC ordinance.

5:54AM PDT on Aug 28, 2009

There is punctuation in the second ammendment which seperates organizing a Militia and the "right of the people" to keep and bare arms. It is clear that the writers wanted both an organized Armed force(Military), and the individual citizen to be able to defend their rights. Please re read the 2nd ammendment. It is actually quite clear. Do not let personal fears or Utopian aspirations cloud it's very plain English.

Actually, do you know what an "absolute phrase" is? Well, that's what "A well....free people" is and the comma is there to separate it from the rest of the sentence, which it modifies in toto. Look up "absolute phrase" and see what it does. The Second Amendment is NOT "quite clear." That's why there is so much debate about it as opposed to many others.

5:41AM PDT on Aug 28, 2009

What ever your wager, you loose it. I finished elementary school at Cameron Run and spent 8th grade at Mount Vernon High. I have no idea how many times I've been in DC. I've never felt the need to carry a firearm.

11:16PM PDT on Aug 22, 2009

I should add the people who carry guns and use them in a malignant manner or shoot and accidentally hit and or kill someone.

Also, who is allowed the "right to bear arms?" And can everyone who carries a gun be trusted with that gun? Even cops can abuse their privilige to carry a gun.

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