BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a federal lawsuit challenging the District of Columbia’s highly restrictive concealed carry permit requirement that applicants provide a “good reason” before such a permit is issued, which violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. SAF is joined by three private citizens, Brian Wrenn and Joshua Akery, both of Washington, D.C., and Tyler Whidby, a Florida resident who also maintains a residence in Virginia. The city and Police Chief Cathy Lanier are named as defendants.
The lawsuit asserts that “individuals cannot be required to prove a ‘good reason’ or ‘other proper reason’ for the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.” All three individual plaintiffs in the case have applied for District carry permits and have been turned down by Lanier because they could not “Demonstrate a good reason to fear injury to person or property.”
“The city’s requirements to obtain a carry permit are so restrictive in nature as to be prohibitive to virtually all applicants,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “It’s rather like a ‘Catch 22,’ in which you can apply all day long, but no reason is sufficiently good enough for Chief Lanier to issue a permit.
“Because of that,” he added, “the city has set the bar so high that it relegates a fundamental civil right to the status of a heavily-regulated government privilege. That is not only wrong, it also does not live up to previous court rulings. Law-abiding citizens who clear background checks and are allowed to have handguns in their homes are being unnecessarily burdened with the additional requirement of proving some special need.
“The last time we checked,” Gottlieb concluded, “we had a Bill of Rights that applied to the entire nation, including the District. It’s not, and never has been, a ‘Bill of Needs’.”
The city is still appealing its earlier loss in Palmer v. D.C., the SAF-sponsored case that struck down the city’s total ban on carrying handguns. The courts have not yet ruled on SAF’s claim that the city’s “may issue” law violates the Palmer injunction.
“We will give the courts every chance to bring Washington, D.C. into constitutional compliance,” said attorney Alan Gura, who represents SAF and the other plaintiffs in both cases.
Read the full complaint filed today here.