Court Invalidates D.C.’s 'Good Reason' Constraint on Public Carry of Firearms

There's always a good reason to protect yourself.

In the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal District of Columbia Circuit, there was a victory for the Constitution. In Wrenn v. DC, the court invalidated the District of Columbia’s prohibitionist “good reason” constraint being armed for self defense in public.

Circuit Judge Thomas B. Griffith and Senior Circuit Judge Stephen F. Williams signed off on the majority opinion, while Circuit Judge Karen L. Henderson wrote a dissent. Andrew Branca at Legal Insurrection describes why this is significant. "The court starts by determining whether the carrying of a firearm for self-defense outside the home is a 'core' component of the Second Amendment. Naturally, DC claims it is not, citing from Heller that 'the need for self-defense is most acute' in the home."

The court wrote:

“the fact that the need for self-defense is most pressing in the home doesn’t mean that self-defense at home is the only right at the Amendment’s core. After all, the Amendment’s ‘core lawful purpose’ is self-defense, and the need for that might arise beyond as well as within the home. Moreover, the Amendment’s text protects both the right to ‘bear’ as well as ‘keep’ arms. … This reading finds support in parts of Heller that speak louder than the Court’s aside about where the need for guns is ‘most acute’.”

Also, the majority opinion revealed:

“[T]he good-reason law is necessarily a total ban on most DC residents’ right to carry a gun in the face of ordinary self-defense needs” and that it does so “by design.” Further, “[b]ans on the ability of most citizens to exercise an enumerated right would have to flunk any judicial test that was appropriately written and applied, so we strike down the District’s law here apart from any particular balancing test.”

Branca says this is where Attorney Alan Gura really won. "They had sought a preliminary injunction temporarily suspending the good-reason law while litigation continued," he wrote. "What they got was the destruction of the law itself." Here's more from the majority opinion:

“Because the District’s good-reason law merits invalidation under Heller regardless of its precise benefits, we would be wasting judicial resources if we remanded for the [lower] court to develop the records in these cases. … We vacate both orders below and remand with instructions to render permanent injunctions against enforcement of the District’s good-reason law.”

Well, that's pretty convincing. The Founders never would've imagined telling the inhabitants of a city like Washington D.C. that they have no right to self defense. The leftist radicals who are trying to disarm the American public will never be there to protect you when seconds matter. It's time for America to rediscover the power of self-governance. This is a great step in the right direction.

Image Credit: By Alexntor (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

h/t Legal Insurrection