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Thread: OT: Gun owners sue DC for right to carry weapons

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    Gun owners sue DC for right to carry weapons
    The attorney who got the Supreme Court to overturn the District of Columbia's 32-year handgun ban has gone back to court to challenge regulations prohibiting gun owners from carrying their weapons in the nation's capital.

    By BRETT ZONGKER

    Associated Press Writer. WASHINGTON —


    The attorney who got the Supreme Court to overturn the District of Columbia's 32-year handgun ban has gone back to court to challenge regulations prohibiting gun owners from carrying their weapons in the nation's capital.

    A lawsuit filed Thursday by attorney Alan Gura in federal court challenges the gun laws that the city passed in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling. Those laws allow registered guns to be kept only at home for self-defense.

    "It's up to the city council if they wish to regulate carrying arms," Gura said Friday. "What they cannot do is ban all carrying by all people at all times."

    Gura argues the Second Amendment's right to "bear arms" is synonymous with carrying guns and that the city must honor residents' constitutional rights. "I think they're still in denial of what happened at the Supreme Court," he said.

    Federal law enforcement agencies, however, support the city's gun restrictions, and recent efforts to change the city's gun laws in the Senate stopped short of allowing weapons to be carried or concealed, said D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles. Allowing people to carry guns around the city, past various embassies, Congress and the White House won't be tolerated, he said.

    "We think we are on very solid ground," Nickles said. "It's the last place in the world that you'd want to have people carrying concealed weapons."

    Of the 50 states, only Illinois and Wisconsin prohibit concealed carrying of handguns, along with D.C., according to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Many states, such as neighboring Virginia, allow open carrying of guns. Some states, though, give police discretion to exclude people deemed dangerous from legally carrying such weapons.

    Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Center, said allowing people to carry loaded, semiautomatic weapons in the nation's capital would endanger government facilities, many tourists and the dense population.

    In the case that struck down D.C.'s handgun ban last year, conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that "the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited," noting that courts have long held that bans on carrying concealed weapons were lawful.

    Gun control advocates use this line to argue the Supreme Court's ruling was limited to keeping guns for self-defense at home.

    "If the lawsuit is asking that people be allowed to openly carry loaded weapons in our nation's capital, that is a recipe for disaster," Vice said.

    Three of the plaintiffs in the case against the city are licensed gun owners in D.C. who had applications rejected when they applied to carry their guns outside their homes for self-defense.





    Another plaintiff from Maryland applied to carry his gun for self-defense while visiting Washington after he was stopped for speeding in the city and was charged with carrying a loaded handgun in his car. Also named in the suit is a nonprofit group called Second Amendment Foundation Inc., which is based in Washington state.

    A legal scholar who follows gun issues said the Supreme Court has not definitively ruled on how far the Second Amendment extends individual gun rights. The court had little to say on the issue before the case that overturned Washington's handgun ban, said George Washington University law professor Robert J. Cottrol.

    "There is perhaps a broader question of carrying (guns) in urban areas vs. other areas," he said, "though we already have experience with liberal right-to-carry laws in other urban areas - Miami, Philadelphia and other major cities."

    Gun control advocates recently defeated a proposed expansion of concealed carry rights attached to a defense bill in the Senate. They argued the recent killings of three police officers in Pittsburgh and 10 people in rural Alabama were committed by people who had permits to carry concealed weapons.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...yndication=rss

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    It's not a matter of open carry versus concealed carry, it's carry period.

    http://www.hoffmang.com/firearms/syk...-2009-08-6.pdf

    Specifically:

    To be sure – Plaintiffs do not claim that there is a constitutional right to carry concealed weapons any more than there is a constitutional right to carry weapons openly. Whatever an individual’s preference, precedent confirms that the right is simply to carry weapons, and that legislatures may choose to specify the manner of doing so. California chooses to ban the open carrying of functional handguns and permit their concealed carry. Accordingly, permits to carry arms may not be denied to ordinary, law-abiding citizens such as Plaintiffs who can demonstrate basic competence with a firearm and who wish to carry a handgun for self-defense.

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    I totally agree with you priority is having right to bear arms.

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    Gray Peterson wrote:
    It's not a matter of open carry versus concealed carry, it's carry period.

    http://www.hoffmang.com/firearms/syk...-2009-08-6.pdf

    Specifically:

    To be sure – Plaintiffs do not claim that there is a constitutional right to carry concealed weapons any more than there is a constitutional right to carry weapons openly. Whatever an individual’s preference, precedent confirms that the right is simply to carry weapons, and that legislatures may choose to specify the manner of doing so. California chooses to ban the open carrying of functional handguns and permit their concealed carry. Accordingly, permits to carry arms may not be denied to ordinary, law-abiding citizens such as Plaintiffs who can demonstrate basic competence with a firearm and who wish to carry a handgun for self-defense.
    GP, good read....wonder when they will challenge the need for a permit to exercise the right? Sure that is sometime down the road....I just hope we don't get more "dicta" that will harm us, yet again. Thanks for the post.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    Shawn wrote:
    GP, good read....wonder when they will challenge the need for a permit to exercise the right? Sure that is sometime down the road....I just hope we don't get more "dicta" that will harm us, yet again. Thanks for the post.
    Unlikely.

    Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement.

    We are essentially peeling the onion of anti-gun BS that built up for decades. Miller is to Heller as Plessy v. Ferguson is to Brown v. Board of Education. It took thirteen years to eliminate the last vestiges of racial segregation (which culminated in Loving v. Virginia). It's gonna take time. You ask for a little now, then you go for the gusto later.

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    Is it really smart to be going for this now, with the recent sotomoyor (sp?) nomination?

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    grishnav wrote:
    Is it really smart to be going for this now, with the recent sotomoyor (sp?) nomination?
    The outcome likely would not be different with Sotomayor sitting on the bench.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    joeroket wrote:
    grishnav wrote:
    Is it really smart to be going for this now, with the recent sotomoyor (sp?) nomination?
    The outcome likely would not be different with Sotomayor sitting on the bench.
    Correct. This is not one of the Heller 5.

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    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
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    Gray Peterson wrote:
    joeroket wrote:
    grishnav wrote:
    Is it really smart to be going for this now, with the recent sotomoyor (sp?) nomination?
    The outcome likely would not be different with Sotomayor sitting on the bench.
    Correct. This is not one of the Heller 5.
    Yup yup, Sotomayor replaced Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, who was one of the 4 dissenting in Heller. Although it's never good to have someone like Sotomayor in the SCOTUS, in this case it was just a wash. In all honesty, I think Ginsberg was actually a greater threat than Sotomayor because, in my opinion, Ginsberg was more shrewd and subtle in her rulings, whereas Sotomayor is an open book on legislating from the bench.

    ...and back on topic, I hope Gura wins this case as well and forces D.C. to allow the carry of firearms within the district.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    It was David Souter she replaced, not Bader-Ginsburg.

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    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
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    Gray Peterson wrote:
    It was David Souter she replaced, not Bader-Ginsburg.
    Eeep...

    It's still a wash for essentially the same reasons, but now I feel stupid.

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