Washington DC Is Now Shall Issue For Gun Permits, but Attorney General Defies Court Order

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has just issued a permanent injunction against the District’s "may issue" firearms licensing scheme, holding that the Second Amendment’s “core lawful purpose” of “self-defense” included the right to carry a firearm beyond the home.

The matter before the D.C. Circuit involved two different lawsuits challenging the District’s may issue regime: Wrenn v. D.C., which was backed by Alan Gottlieb’s Second Amendment Foundation, and Grace v. D.C. which was backed by the LGBT gun rights organization, Pink Pistols. Both plaintiffs had sought an injunction against enforcing the District’s "good reason" requirement for the issuance of firearms carry licenses.

A lower court judge denied Wrenn’s request last March, but a different judge granted Grace’s request (but stayed the order pending appeal.) Since both Wrenn and the District of Columbia appealed, and both cases involved the same issues, the D.C. Circuit combined the two matters and adjudicated them simultaneously.

Since the District does issue non-resident licenses, will the citizens of the 50 states be able to apply for a D.C. carry license tomorrow? No. This was a three judge panel ruling — the District could (and likely will) ask for the entire Circuit, en banc, to hear the decision.


UPDATE:  D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine refuses to honor court's permanent injunction against the District's "may Issue" firearms licensing scheme

Attorney General Karl A. Racine issued the following statement in response to today’s D.C. Circuit Court ruling in Wrenn v. D.C., a lawsuit challenging the District’s restrictions on permits to carry a concealed handgun:

"The District of Columbia's 'good reason’ requirement for concealed-carry permits is a common-sense gun regulation, and four federal appeals courts have rejected challenges to similar laws in other states. As we consider seeking review of today's 2-1 decision before the entire D.C. Circuit, the ‘good reason’ requirement remains in effect. The Office of Attorney General is committed to working with the Mayor and Council to continue fighting for common-sense gun rules.”

(Update source:


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