Win in Palmer vs. DC!

US Capitol w/ Flag

Via Alan Gura, who is the attorney for the case. This was the case challenging the District of Colombia’s ban on carrying firearms in public, that the court had been sitting on for quite some time. The court left the door open for some regulation of carry, including licensing, but “consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

Needless to say, this is a significant win. Probably the most significant win since Illinois was forced to become shall-issue in the case of Moore v. Madigan. Hopefully this will strengthen the hand of Congress when it comes to setting the Districts gun laws for it, and then preempting City Council from regulating firearms.

A quick way to fix this problem would be to recognize licenses to carry from all states that issue them. I believe D.C. residents can obtain licenses from Virginia, which would probably do until D.C. sets up its own shall-issue regime.

A bigger question is whether this case will go to the Supreme Court or not. The Court hasn’t seemed eager to hear a carry case, but maybe this will be the one. If this does go to SCOTUS and wins, that would apply to the whole country.

UPDATE: It’s been so long since Palmer was heard, I forgot it was still at the District Court level, and not the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. So the next step is the Circuit Court, not the Supreme Court.

35 thoughts on “Win in Palmer vs. DC!”

  1. This is big win! Since DC had no system to permit residents to carry,as of this moment non permit carry is the rule.At least until Monday when the Council may quickly come up with a permit process.

      1. Based on the ruling, it doesn’t appear that they’ll be able to get away with that.

    1. Yes indeed! I think it speaks volumes that the ruling must constitutionally default to Constitutional Carry until such time the city creates a carry law. Clear evidence The Right To Keep and Bear Arms is a basic gaurantee short of some other city or state that wants to add additional laws and regulations.

  2. So did I miss something here? The law has been declared unconstitutional and the city is enjoined from enforcing it.

    Does this mean DC is now constitutional carry until they get some other laws in place?

    1. IANAL, but a ruling that a law is unconstitutional is effectively retroactive, based on the principle that if it is unconstitutional now then it was always unconstitutional. Anyone convicted under that statute can file to have their conviction overturned because it was never a crime.

      The next question is whether DC appeals to the circuit court or not, and if the circuit court agrees or not. If it is appealed, I expect the district court would put any such motions on hold until the circuit court makes a ruling.

  3. This decision is huge in favor of gun owners and those that choose to carry fire arms for self protection. Still it doesn’t yet fully support the full intent of the 2nd amendment. The right to won and bare arms is definitive in it’s original intent, that being that there is NO restriction on any lawful citizen from carrying or owning a firearm. Until that basic principal is fully upheld the legal battle is not yet fully won.

    1. Agreed, Jeffrey! The wishy-washy language of “regulations and licensing consistent with constitutional standards” is an oxymoron. There are no regulations or licensing consistent with “shall not be infringed!” How supposedly educated judges on the DC District Court cannot figure out those fourth-grade definitions is unconscionable, but such is the moronic status of our judicial system today. Fortunately, we have brilliant men like Mr. Gura who can work within that system and eke out significant victories that give us hope that ultimately liberty and honesty will prevail.
      Blessings to all!
      – Arnie

      1. It is less than ideal, but licensing is a battle for another time. You still have to lead the horse to water if you want to see whether he’ll drink.

        1. Agreed, sir! I wonder, is there any way we could add a little salt to the horse’s oats? :-)

  4. So, uh… did Alan Gura have to sign something in blood to get this good at arguing cases? Is he going to have to cross-examine the devil some night at a lonely crossroads to keep his soul?
    Then again, he’s already faced down Scalia, so that shouldn’t be too much trouble for him.

  5. Why reciprocity? According to the decision no permit is required to carry openly or concealed regardless of whether or not one is a resident of the District of Columbia.

    1. Yes, but doesn’t DC require a license to possess a firearm? AFAIK, that law was not part of the case so it still stands, and non-residents would not have a DC gun license. IOW, it’s legal for non-residents to carry a firearm in DC as long as they can legally possess it in DC… which they can’t.

      I know what the sensible outcome of that conflict in the laws would be, but I wouldn’t want to be the one to test whether the courts would agree with me. And it’s a sure bet the DC cops and prosecutors won’t!

      1. DC required a gun to be registered and a permit to have it at home. That permit in the home was thrown out also. So The way I read it a VA citizen duly allowed to carry in his/her state can carry in DC. At least until Monday.

        1. Where do you see that? My reading is that it only applies to guns registered in DC.

  6. Maybe I’m too pessimistic, but I foresee it going down like this:

    1) DC appeals to DC Circuit
    2) DC circuit issues emergency stay
    Variant: DC city council passes “no-issue may-issue” until DC circuit takes it up
    3) DC circuit does the Intermediate Scrutiny Hokey Pokey, en banc if necessary
    4) Back to where we were, i.e. no carry

    This was just a District court ruling. The Dems used the nuclear option to pack the DC Circuit so it is a 7-4 court for us, which is exceedingly unfriendly.

    We might have better luck in the Congress ift they use this ruling as leverage, especially given that it is an election year, except that Sen Reid wants to throw us under the bus. I see us getting, at best, Universal Background Checks in exchange for some sort of watered down DC carry out of the Senate.

  7. IF DC has to go with Reciprocity (which I’m sure they’ll find some way of Denying), I recommend all DC Gunnies to apply for the Arizona CHP TODAY. Cheap as far as CHPs goes, easy Quals, and it is Issued to ANY Legal Adult U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident, NO MATTER WHERE ONE LIVES! Arizona, even though they have Constitutional Carry, came up with it for their State Citizens who happen to be in another State and wish to CC.

    AND most of it can be done ONLINE, except for the Fingerprint Cards.

    In fact, DC Citizens should get it anyway, no matter how Palmer turns out. After all, it will probably take a couple of years to get to the Supremes, so why wait?

  8. Question: in light of the almost universal hostility of the Federal Courts towards upholding the spirit of DC v Heller, is this case the first time a District Court has ruled in our favor? AFAIK the only time the Federal courts have sided with us has been at the appellate or Supreme Court level.

    1. Considering the District court took FOUR YEARS to issue a ruling, I have to say I am astonished the ruling was in our favor!

    2. SAF won the MD carry case at the district level, but it was then overturned by the 4th circuit.

      Comm2A in Massachusetts won their alienage case and the ltc ban for misdemeanor marijuana possession in MA district court.

      There are a few others also, I believe.

  9. Chris from AK is correct.
    DC pols and bureaucrats will drag their feet, ignore the rulings, and harass citizens until they are smacked down by the Supreme Court or … well, let’s not think about that.

  10. DC admits the ruling is in effect immediately. Police Chief, under guidance of DC attorney general, has just granted reciprocity to all states.

    1. Ok, this is getting ridiculous. I’m going to wake up tomorrow having dreamed everything since Heller, right?

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