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Federal judge declares D.C. ban on carrying handguns in public unconstitutional

July 27, 2014
7/26/2015
Source …..

gun-constitutionA federal judge has declared that one of the District’s principal gun control laws is unconstitutional and ordered that its enforcement be halted.

The ruling by Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr., made public Saturday, orders the city to end its prohibition against carrying a pistol in public.

It was not clear Saturday night what immediate effect the order would have.

The order was addressed to the District of Columbia and Police Chief Cathy Lanier, as well as their employees and officers and others “who receive actual notice” of the ruling. But it could not be determined Saturday night who had received notice. Also unclear was whether the city would appeal and what effect that would have on the enforcement ban.

Legal sources said Saturday night that in general all parties to a case must be duly informed of a ruling and given the opportunity to appeal before it takes effect.

The D.C. attorney general represented the city. A spokesman for the attorney general’s office said he had not seen the order and declined to comment. However, he said city lawyers would study the ruling and consider their options.

A spokeswoman for the police department said she was not aware of the ruling.

The case was heard by Scullin, a senior U.S. District judge who normally sits in New York. In his ruling, Scullin said that, based on recent decisions, “there is no longer any basis” to conclude that the city’s “total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional.”

Scullin said he was stopping enforcement of the law “unless and until” the city adopted a constitutionally valid licensing mechanism.

The suit against the city was filed by four named plaintiffs and the Second Amendment Foundation, which is based in Washington state.

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