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Federal Judge Strikes Down Part of D.C. Gun Law

Updated on June 4, 2016

Judge Says Second Amendment Overrides Local Law

A federal judge's recent ruling made a dispute over the District of Columbia's strict gun control law ripe for Supreme Court review.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon ruled that a D.C. law is unconstitutional for requiring residents to prove they have a good reason to fear injury before they can carry a concealed gun outside their homes.

Leon's ruling conflicts with a previous decision by U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who found no fault with the D.C. gun law.

The conflicting rulings make an ultimate decision by the U.S. Supreme Court highly likely.

Leon granted a preliminary injunction against enforcement of parts of the D.C. law that require a good reason to fear injury or other proper reason. He said the law violates the Second Amendment's right to bear arms. The other proper reason can include personal threats or a security job that requires protecting property.

D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine plans to file a motion to put Leon's ruling on hold while the city appeals.

The preliminary injunction was sought by D.C. resident Matthew Grace and his fellow shooting club members from the Pink Pistols.

Leon's 46-page ruling said the D.C. law was too restrictive in limiting the right to carry firearms.

Kollar-Kotelly, who previously denied a preliminary injunction against the D.C. law, was nominated as a federal judge by Democratic President Bill Clinton. Leon was nominated by Republican President George W. Bush.

Federal Judge Strikes Down D.C. Gun Restrictions Law

The Supreme Court is the next step in a dispute over Washington, D.C.'s gun restrictions.
The Supreme Court is the next step in a dispute over Washington, D.C.'s gun restrictions.

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