A federal judge has termed the restrictions on carrying handguns in public as “unconstitutional.” The District has banned carrying of handguns in public places.
Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. has ordered that the enforcement of principal gun control laws of the District must be halted. It was, however, not clear that the order is effective from immediate effect or not.
The judgement comes five years after many gun owners filed a lawsuit challenging the gun laws. The District’s gun laws only allowed residents to have a gun in their home or business.
Writing for an opinion dated July 24 and made public on July 26, Judge Scullin said, “In light of Supreme Court decisions that struck down near total bans on handguns in the District and Chicago in recent years, there is no longer any basis this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny.”
Reports say the federal order was addressed to the District of Columbia and Police Chief Cathy Lanier and their staffs and others “who receive actual notice” of the judgement. But it’s still unclear that who had received the notice. Moreover, there was doubt about whether the District would appeal.
According to the legal sources, usually all parties in a case are require to be duly informed about a ruling and be allowed to appeal before the ruling takes effect.
Lawyer Alan Gura, who is representing the group which has challenged the gun law ban, said “The decision is in effect, unless and until the court stays its decision. This is now a decision that the city is required to follow — the idea that the city can prohibit absolutely the exercise of a constitutional right for all people at all times, that was struck down. That’s just not going to fly.”
Palmer vs. District of Columbia case was filed by the Second Amendment Foundation and four gun owners.
According to them, the District’s gun laws violate the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.