Court strikes down DC ban on openly carrying guns
In a big victory for Second Amendment supporters, a federal court in Washington, D.C. has struck down a local ordinance against openly carrying handguns.
The judge, Frederick Scullin, didn't mince any words:
In a 19-page opinion, Judge Frederick Scullin ruled on Saturday that "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 Court finds that the District of Columbia's complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional."
It is unclear if the defendants -- the District of Columbia as represented by Police Chief Cathy Lanier -- will appeal the ruling.
The lawsuit plaintiffs included two Washington residents who were denied permits to openly carry handguns for self-defense.
Washington DC, the District of Columbia, is wedged between the states of Virginia -- which allows people to openly carry a gun -- and Maryland, which has stricter rules on gun ownership.
Currently 44 of the 50 US states allow people to openly carry handguns.
In his ruling Scullin made reference to the 2008 US Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the plaintiff argued that the city's ban on firearm ownership -- one of the strictest in the nation -- was unconstitutional.
In a 5-4 decision the court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, Dick Anthony Heller, a local police officer who wanted to have a private weapon at home.
At the national level, gun control efforts have utterly failed. But at the state and local level, there is still much to do. A good start would be to elect pro-Second Amendment legislators and governors to repeal some of the onerous legislation passed in the panic after the Sandy Hook school shooting.
The political fallout from gun control efforts in Colorado included the recall of the state senate president and anothe state senator. And recent polls suggest Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper may be in trouble in his re-election campaign, running neck and neck with GOP nominee Bob Beauprez.
But ultimately, this is a battle for the courts to decide. And recent history suggests the winning streak for pro-gun forces will continue.