The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit just issued a ruling that may have a profound effect on carry laws in America. A prior ruling in another court held that the District of Columbia has the authority to enact a general ban on the carry of arms within the District because there were exceptions allowed for people with a substantial need. But today’s ruling is contrary to that earlier opinion. Today’s ruling affirms the right of individuals to bear arms and that social circumstances cannot be required to exercise that right.
It wasn’t an unanimous opinion, though. One of the ruling judges wrote in her dissent that she is “certain the core Second Amendment right does not (extend beyond the home)”. As the Sacred Cow Slaughterhouse noted, the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments don’t stop at your door, so why would the Second?
So does that mean that DC residents can start carrying a pistol tomorrow? You know it isn’t that easy. This case will likely go to SCOTUS. But with the current composition of the court and given the way earlier cases have gone, odds are decent that SCOTUS will also rule that blanket carry bans are unconstitutional, even if allowances are made for special circumstances. It does not mean that certain “reasonable” restrictions cannot be placed on carry by the state, such as permit requirements.