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D.C. Concealed Carry Applications Surge Following Court’s Lifting of “Good Reason” Requirement

Friday, December 15, 2017

D.C. Concealed Carry Applications Surge Following Court’s Lifting of “Good Reason” Requirement

FBI figures show surging interest in concealed carry licenses in the nation’s capital following a recent court ruling that effectively ended D.C.’s discretionary licensing regime. 

D.C. officials decided not to appeal the ruling in early October. That month, the FBI ran 217 background checks for D.C. residents, two-thirds of them in connection with concealed carry license applications. By contrast, only one-licensed related check was run in September, and no one had applied for a concealed carry license at all during the previous October.

The surge then continued in November, with 75% of the city’s record 365 National Instant Criminal Background Check System queries run for concealed carry licenses.  

D.C.’s concealed carry requirements remain strict and include 16 hours of mandatory training. It’s also unusually difficult for D.C. residents to acquire ownership of a handgun, beginning with the fact that there are no stocking firearm dealers anywhere within the District. 

But until October, it was virtually impossible for most D.C. residents to get a concealed carry license at all, even those with extensive firearms training, spotless backgrounds, and the willingness to jump through D.C.’s voluminous red tape. This was because D.C. had imposed a “good” or “proper” reason requirement that automatically disqualified applicants who simply wanted to carry a handgun for self-defense. 

Instead, applicants had to prove a “special need for self-protection distinguishable from the general community,” job duties requiring the transport of large amounts of cash or valuables, or the need to protect a close relative who cannot provide for his or her own special self-defense needs. Nearly 80% of otherwise qualified applicants were denied under this test, and incalculably more were discouraged from ever applying at all.

In July, a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the “good” or “proper” reason requirement was effectively a ban on bearing arms by people entitled to Second Amendment protection and barred its enforcement.The panel’s ruling came in the combined cases of Wrenn v. D.C. and Grace v. D.C.   

The District then asked the full D.C. Circuit to rehear the case, but the court denied the request in September. On October 5, the District effectively threw in the towel by deciding not to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

That hundreds have since braved D.C.’s remaining concealed carrying licensing bureaucracy underscores what pro-gun advocates have always maintained: that the “good” or “proper” reason requirement was not a “gun safety” law but merely a prior restraint on constitutionally-protected activity.

Unfortunately, eight U.S. states still have some variant on this requirement that allows licensing officials in those jurisdictions to deny concealed carry applications virtually at will, with no other alternative for lawful carry. Countless Americans who could satisfy the strictest objective licensing requirements are therefore denied their constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense. 

That is one reason why the NRA is so heavily invested in the passage of a national concealed carry reciprocity bill. NRA-backed legislation recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives that would ensure no state could arbitrarily deny law-abiding Americans the right to carry.

In the meantime, we hope that the growth of right-to-carry continues to expand exponentially in the nation’s capital. We look forward to the day when we can point to the successful implementation of shall-issue concealed carry in Washington, D.C. as the ultimate example of how good guys and gals with guns can be a force for good in any jurisdiction.

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Turning a Right into a Privilege: HR 1112 Gives Feds Unfettered Power to Block Gun Sales

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Turning a Right into a Privilege: HR 1112 Gives Feds Unfettered Power to Block Gun Sales

H.R. 8, which would criminalize the private transfer of firearms, has received significant attention from the gun rights community. However, H.R. 1112, which purportedly targets the inappropriately-named “Charleston loophole,” is just as insidious an attack ...

Washington: Hearing for Bill to Expand Gun Seizures Without Due Process

Monday, February 18, 2019

Washington: Hearing for Bill to Expand Gun Seizures Without Due Process

On February 19th, the Washington state Senate Committee on Law & Justice will be holding an executive session on Senate Bill 5745 to expand the circumstances under which Second Amendment rights may be revoked without ...

H.R. 8 Markup: Liberal Democrats Markup Gun Control Legislation

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

H.R. 8 Markup: Liberal Democrats Markup Gun Control Legislation

The Nancy Pelosi Speaker Era 2.0 continued on Wednesday, Feb. 13, with a markup of H.R 8, the “universal” background checks bill, in the House Judiciary Committee. Following on the heels of last week’s Judiciary Committee hearing, the same committee held a markup on ...

Another Study Blames Guns, Excludes Reality

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Another Study Blames Guns, Excludes Reality

A study published in Preventative Medicine by Yu Lu and Jeff R. Temple concludes that “the majority of mental health symptoms examined were not related to gun violence. Instead, access to firearms was the primary culprit.”

Texas: Setting the Record Straight On "Red Flag" Legislation

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Texas: Setting the Record Straight On "Red Flag" Legislation

Over the holiday weekend, a conservative "taxpayer watchdog" group sent out an email to its contact list which gave the impression that NRA-ILA supports "red flag" legislation in Texas.  One wonders what the organization hoped to accomplish by confusing and attempting to divide ...

Polls: No Lasting Support for Gun Control One Year After Parkland

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Polls: No Lasting Support for Gun Control One Year After Parkland

Thursday marked the one year anniversary of the terrible crimes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. It was a somber occasion, but some media outlets couldn’t contain their glee this week that ...

Maryland: 2019 Legislative Session Begins with a Slew of Anti-Gun Bills Introduced

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Maryland: 2019 Legislative Session Begins with a Slew of Anti-Gun Bills Introduced

With the 2019 Maryland Legislative Session underway, gun control groups have made the General Assembly a target for their anti-gun agenda. 

California: City of Los Angeles Discriminates Against NRA Supporters

Friday, February 15, 2019

California: City of Los Angeles Discriminates Against NRA Supporters

This week, the City Council Members of Los Angeles showed their extreme distain of the Second Amendment, the NRA and our supporters.  On February 12, the City Council held the first reading of a proposed ordinance that ...

Colorado: House Committee to Consider “Red Flag” Legislation This Week

Sunday, February 17, 2019

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On Thursday, ​at 1:30pm in the Old State Library, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider anti-gun legislation, House Bill 1177.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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The Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee could soon consider Senate Bill 53. 

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.