District Judge: ‘Right to Bear Arms’ Includes Right to Carry Outside Home
In a May 17 ruling against Washington, D.C.’s “good reason” requirement for concealed carry applicants, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled that the “right to bear arms” includes the right to carry them outside the home for self-defense.
This ruling was issued in GRACE et al v. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA et al.
At the center of the case was the D.C. requirement that concealed permit applicants show “good reason” for needing to carry a gun when applying to do so. Leon referenced District of Columbia v Heller (2008), which struck down DC’s gun ban–and ruled that the “good reason” requirement is the same kind of policy the Supreme Court was striking down via Heller.
Leon wrote, “The District’s understandable, but overzealous, desire to restrict the right to carry in public a firearm for self-defense to the smallest possible number of law-abiding, responsible citizens is exactly the type of policy choice the Justices had in mind.”
He continued by explaining that “the right to bear arms” is not limited to bearing arms in one’s living room or den, or in one’s bedroom or garage. Rather “the right to bear arms” hinges on the right to self-defense and is, therefore, viable whether an individual is in his home or not.
Leon ruled, “Because the right to bear arms includes the right to carry firearms for self-defense both inside and outside the home, I find that the District’s ‘good reason’ requirement likely places an unconstitutional burden on this right.”