Washington, D.C., will drop its appeal of a federal court ruling that overturned the city’s ban on carrying handguns in public, Attorney General Karl Racine announced Wednesday.
City attorneys will instead focus on defending concealed-carry laws adopted by legislators in the months after U.S. District Court Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. declared the ban was unconstitutional.
“We need to focus our energies not on litigating old laws, but defending new ones that our leaders enacted in good faith to comply with court rulings while still protecting public safety,” Mr. Racine said.
Up until Judge Scullin’s ruling in July, D.C. residents could only legally posses registered firearms in their homes. The Palmer v. District of Columbia ruling led lawmakers to approve a permitting scheme that would allow gun owners to apply for concealed carry licenses.
But gun owners have criticized the permitting scheme as too restrictive, citing the fact that the Metropolitan Police Department requires proof of a “good reason” why a gun owner would need to carry a firearm for protection.
The Attorney General’s office is already defending two challenges to the permitting scheme in court.
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Plaintiffs in the Palmer case have asked Judge Scullin to review the city’s concealed carry permitting scheme to determine whether it complies with his order. Meanwhile, gun owners who were denied concealed carry licenses have also filed a lawsuit challenging the city’s rules on the matter.