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DC Won’t Appeal Concealed Carry Ruling

They made that mistake before. I’m guessing they don’t want to risk a change on the court, which would mean that ruling would end up applying to the whole country. That’s the mistake they made with Heller. I’m also sure they figure they can make the requirements so onerous that as a practical effect no one qualifies for a permit to carry. It would probably be preferable for Congress to act to fix these issues, and remove DC’s ability to regulate firearms.

11 Responses to “DC Won’t Appeal Concealed Carry Ruling”

  1. Jacob says:

    Does that mean no concealed carry cases left in the pipeline? I thought this case was the last best hope for those of us behind enemy lines.

  2. Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

    Its sort of good news. Great that DC will be shall issue now, though you are right that they will still make it as onerous as possible.

    • beatbox says:

      All they have to do is change that one requirement. The rest of the requirements are still pretty heinous.

  3. beatbox says:

    Congrats to my old friends in DC!! But sorry to SAF and Gura. Guess they did too good of a job.

  4. RAH says:

    I was sure they would not appeal Shall issue would be country wide if they did. Scotus may choose to take it up since there is already a split.
    I expect if DC attempts to restrict to nothing then Congress will finally say no. Surprised they have not before Rand Paul has threatened to do so during Obama’s time

    • beatbox says:

      Congress has blustered but never actually acted on guns in DC. Don’t expect them to now. It’s all political theater.

  5. MarkPA says:

    DC’s AG decided not to appeal Wrenn to SCOTUS. My prediction is that this event signals the death of Won’t-Issue at the State level. One Won’t-Issue State after another will decide to loosen the spigot on issuing CWPs as the apparent best means of limiting carry. My reasoning is as follows.

    SCOTUS needs to rule on carry using either a: legalistic; or, level-of-scrutiny line of reasoning. It’s much easier for them to rule, as in Heller and Wrenn, on a legalistic line of reasoning. I.e., under no level-of-scrutiny is the law of the State of X Constitutional. Such a ruling allows them to duck a discussion of the formula for level-of-scrutiny or to address the calculation that would meet the applicable level. I suspect that DC concluded that, even if they “won” at SCOTUS, that would mean only that they did not have to issue to Wrenn or Grace. Neither DC nor any of the Won’t-Issue States would have any confidence in their respective criteria under which they could Constitutionally withhold a CWP.

    As it is, DC and the Won’t-Issue States remain in the dark as to how tightly they can close the spigot on issue. How ‘good’ must a good-enough reason be to carry? How virtuous must a citizen’s character be to be worthy of a CWP?

    For simplicity of discussion here, I will speak of DC’s and the States’ evaluation of these questions to be vested in the hands of its respective AG. Each is under political pressure to keep the spigot tightly closed; but, one of them is under the least such pressure. S/he will need to decide whether to use the AG office’s resources defending test cases brought by SAF, NRA, etc. challenging the application of the “good reason” and “character” criterion. This AG’s best strategy is to loosen the spigot just enough to reduce the pressure from virtuous applicants with a plausible reason. E.g., shop-keepers, ATM stockers, cash-rent collectors, residents of dangerous neighborhoods, holders of Orders of Protection, victims of previous attacks. Emphasis will shift from “good reason” to “character”. E.g., Does this applicant’s driving history evidence a sufficient lack of virtue to justify withholding a CWP?

    The 2A bar will now undertake a search for virtuous prospective plaintiffs with a better-than-average set of circumstances to constitute “good reason”. CA will be a best bet because it bars open-carry absolutely and is not consistent in finding good-reason across counties. Every jurisdiction banning open-carry and issuing CWPs very sparingly will become vulnerable to repeated and costly litigation.

    Judges at the State and Federal District courts will rule erratically for and against the plaintiffs. Appellate courts will be reluctant to take appeals; yet, eventually, one and then another Circuit will take a case – eventually, with a ruling against the State. Thereupon, that State’s law will fall (see, for example, IL in the 7’th Circuit). The greatest vulnerability will be in an Open-Carry case. E.g., suppose a minority land-lady who collects cash rent, not even a library fine, who is denied the right to open-carry. If open-carry is “the right” to “bear” “arms” then it is such a case that will have to be taken in some Circuit and which will have to be taken by SCOTUS, eventually.

    Under this predicted scenario, the lower courts will build a hodgepodge of rulings over “good reason” and “character” that SCOTUS will be forced to resolve; – again – using either a: legalistic; or, level-of-scrutiny line of reasoning. SCOTUS will prefer a legalistic rationale that will likely tip in a populist direction. This is an outcome that the Won’t-Issue States will want to avoid at all costs. But, how to do that?

    Our reluctant AG is apt to realize that her/his best strategy is to shift emphasis to “character” and away from “good reason”. Issue to every virtuous applicant with a relatively plausible “good reason” such as taking cash deposits to the bank. Deny applicants (good reason notwithstanding) if they have any hint of a record of any character fault. One reckless driving conviction, two DWIs, three assaults (non-aggrevated). Such a strategy would make it as difficult as possible for the 2A bar to find a promising case at the margin where an applicant has some “good” reason but three very old DWIs in his misspent youth.

    Eventually, Kennedy, Ginsburg or Breyer will leave the Court; ultimately, two of them. When that happens, it’s hard to predict the composition of SCOTUS. Yet, even if it were to shift Left, the forces to rule on a legalistic and populist line of reasoning will remain. The justices will be conscious of the fact that 40 States are Right-to-Carry and that this number is more than enough to empower them to draft and ratify a Constitutional Amendment imposing a decision of “the People” imposing Right-to-Carry and overruling any SCOTUS decision to the contrary. They will also be conscious of John Lott Jr’s current tally of CWP holders across the several States and record of revocations.

    If you were the AG for one of the Won’t-Issue States, would you want to expend the resources of your office fending off litigation from worthy CWP applicants only to find yourself with the weak argument that lands you before your Circuit? Possibly, one that lands you before SCOTUS? To the extent that you are reluctant to face the inevitable, you will find your way clear to loosen the spigot just enough to reduce your risk. You will urge your legislature to beef-up the “character” criteria that will justify denying CWP applicants lacking a perfectly clean record. Whereupon, the fissure in the dyke will become a crack followed by an acquiescence of Right-to-Carry by more and more voters.

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