In an unsurprising turn, officials in the District of Columbia have decided to continue to defend their near total ban on the right to bear arms. On Thursday, D.C. filed a petition for rehearing en banc with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the combined cases of Grace v. D.C. and Wrenn v. D.C.
As we reported last month, the D.C. Circuit struck down the District’s restrictive handgun permitting law that required applicants to show a “good” or “proper” reason for needing to carry a concealed handgun. Under this system, D.C. officials have denied all but a few applicants their right to carry a firearm for personal protection.
The District’s 61 pages of arguments for why the right to bear arms shouldn’t apply in the nation’s capital can be summed up in a single reason: “we’re different.” D.C.’s petition to the court begins by claiming that “[t]he District of Columbia is unique” and “[u]nlike any city, it is filled with thousands of high-ranking federal officials and international diplomats, and it hosts hundreds of heavily attended events each year, including political marches and protests.”
Apparently, in the minds of D.C. officials, this “uniqueness” should allow the District to infringe on the civil rights of its residents and visitors who wish to exercise their right to bear arms. It’s unclear if D.C. officials believe that this ability to trample on civil rights allows them to restrict any of our other constitutional rights or just those rights protected by the Second Amendment.
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