DC’s Gun-free Zone Problem: Regulations effectively ban anyone from legally carrying a gun
Last Thursday, the District of Columbia decided not to appeal a decision by the DC federal appeals court that declared DC’s concealed carry law unconstitutional. DC had asked the entire DC federal appeals court for an en banc review of that decision, but despite a large Democratic majority, the entire DC federal appeals court unanimously let that decision stand. Gun control advocates are obviously thankful that DC “took one for the team” and didn’t appeal this case to the US Supreme Court. The last thing that they wanted was another District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) decision, whereby the Supreme Court struck down DC’s handgun ban and later applied the precedent to strike down bans in places such as Chicago.
As we have previously noted, prohibiting concealed handguns within 1,000 feet of a school can in some states essentially amount to a concealed carry ban. Technically, DC allows permitted concealed carry, but the law is written in such a way that it would ban permit holders from carrying in virtually the entire District. Even the 124 people who are legally permitted to carry are really currently banned from carrying virtually everywhere. The relevant text of the law (§ 22–4502.01) is in the enhanced penalty section and is available here.