Right Hooks

Is DC Disregarding Gun Carry Ruling?

The DC attorney general allegedly lets personal grievances dictate the rules.

Jordan Candler · May 25, 2016

Last week U.S. District Judge Richard Leon shot down the District of Columbia’s latest scheme to strip the right to carry a concealed firearm. In short, Judge Leon deemed the city’s “good reason” prerequisite impermissible: “Because the right to bear arms includes the right to carry firearms for self-defense both in and outside the home, I find that the District’s ‘good reason’ requirement likely places an unconstitutional burden on this right.”

However, DC attorney general evidently feels differently. Karl Racine is being accused of categorically disregarding a judge’s ruling. Writing in The Federalist, Devin Watkins reveals:

“After the order, I went to apply for a concealed-carry permit in the District of Columbia. The police officers there told me the D.C. attorney general’s office had ordered them to ignore the court order and continue to deny applications. Thinking there might be some kind of mistake, I contacted the AG’s office, which explicitly told me if I had a complaint about what they did I could file that complaint online.”

Watkins rightly notes that Attorney General Karl Racine “is free to seek a stay of the court order from the D.C. Circuit Court, but until that opinion is properly stayed it must be obeyed.” In short, this is outright disobedience. Watkins also makes an interesting comparison to Kim Davis: “Less than a year ago, Kim Davis ignored a court order from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky and refused to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples. She was held in contempt of court, served five days in jail, and was ruthlessly attacked in the media. Now the office of Karl Racine, the Washington, D.C. attorney general, has ordered D.C. government employees to ignore a court order from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.”

In this case, however, don’t expect any outcry from the all-too-predictable leftist rabble rousers.

Update: Reason’s Brian Doherty gathered more details and reports that DC officials reject Watkins’ claim: “In a phone interview with Watkins, I got him to elaborate. The city has 90 days to consider the application, so he has not officially been denied yet. The incident occurred on May 17. But Watkins says what the receiving officer told him — he did not get the name — strongly implied that his lack of listing the ‘good reason’ would mean he would be denied, and that they had been told by the attorney general’s office to ignore the ruling. … But Robert Marus, a press officer for the D.C. attorney general’s office, vigorously denied that they’d given any such order to disobey the order in the meantime.” Right — just like DC would never circumvent the Constitution.

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