Calvin Freiburger reports that the District of Columbia’s hostility to the Second Amendment is well known. But while the nation’s capital may have limitless hostility to the nation’s Constitution, apparently its will to fight — in one area, at least — is spent.
WTOP in Washington reports that city officials have decided they will not try to convince the United States Supreme Court to reinstate DC’s restrictions on carrying concealed weapons, effectively restoring a big part of the right to keep and bear arms:
D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine was joined by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Police Chief Peter Newsham and D.C. Council member Charles Allen at the announcement of the decision Thursday at One Judiciary Square.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is expected to issue an order that strikes down the D.C. law that requires applicants who want a conceal-carry permit to prove they have “good reason” to carry a firearm in public. Under the law, reasons to get a concealed carry license might include a personal threat, or a job that requires a person to carry or protect cash or valuables.
The law suffered a setback in July when a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that it infringes on residents’ Second Amendment rights. Gun rights advocates have long argued that D.C.’s law is unconstitutional and that it makes it difficult for people to defend themselves.
D.C. officials later asked the Court of Appeals to rehear the case as a full court. However, in a brief order last week, the court said it would not reconsider the ruling, leaving the city’s attorney general with no choice but to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court or back down.
As a result, DC residents interested in exercising their concealed-carry rights could begin applying for permits as soon as next Thursday.
But the best part of this story? Apparently being good little lefty foot soldiers, they feared that if they fought it out at the Supreme Court and lost, the result would be a net disaster for gun grabbers by creating a precedent to strike down concealed carry restrictions throughout the rest of the country (according to the National Rifle Association, eight other states plus Puerto Rico place substantial restrictions on carry permits). Better to let our residents have their Second Amendment rights back than risk way more Americans getting their Second Amendment rights back, the thinking apparently went.
The gun grabbers were right to be pessimistic about their chances. Justice Anthony Kennedy is no conservative and far from reliable, but he voted the right way on the last major gun rights case to reach the Supreme Court, DC v. Heller. Now with Neil Gorsuch replacing the late, great Antonin Scalia on SCOTUS, the challenge almost certainly would have resulted in a fresh flood of liberal tears. And with rumors swirling that Kennedy could retire and an actual, consistent conservative jurist could be sitting in his chair by the time oral arguments began, it’s no wonder they didn’t risk it.