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Long delayed Gun Rights Case, Just Decided!

Al Norris

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Way back in August of 2009, A case was filed in the Federal District Court of DC. At issue in this case was the complete ban, by DC, on the public carry of firearms, by lawful citizens, for purposes of self defense outside the home. At the time this lawsuit was filed, Only the State of IL and the city of DC completely banned the carrying of firearms by its citizens in public.


Since then, another case (Moore v. Madigan) had gone up to the 7th Circuit and the ban in IL was struck down. IL now has a licensing scheme in place to allow the concealed carry of handguns by lawful citizens.


After a lot of stalling by Judge Kennedy (not the Justice of the same name on the SCOTUS), the case was reassigned on July 18th of 2011, by Chief Justice Roberts, to Judge Scullin.


Judge Scullin is a senior judge in the Federal District Court of New York.


The motions for Summary Judgment in this case were completely argued before Judge Kennedy, before the re-assignment. Judge Scullin ordered new arguments and the case was then completed by Sept. of 2012.


In October of 2013, attorney Alan Gura filed for a Writ of Mandamus (an order to the Judge to produce the decision), to the Circuit Court of Appeals for DC (DCCA). That writ was denied, on the grounds that not enough time had passed. The Writ was renewed just last May.


Then, yesterday, 26 July, 2014, Judge Scullin woke up the court clerks and filed his decision in a Memorandum and Order (something highly unusual for the courts to do). Those interested, may read the decision here: http://www.archive.org/download/gov.uscourts.dcd.137887/gov.uscourts.dcd.137887.51.0.pdf


The decision is 19 PDF pages. The Judge correctly interprets the Landmark Heller and McDonald cases and references Peruta and Moore - 2 other cases that went for gun rights. The Judge concludes the "Bear Arms" in the Second Amendment means that citizens have the right to have loaded handguns outside the home, for the express purpose of self defense. Thus, invalidating the DC ban against firearms outside the home.


I suspect that the decision was filed on a Saturday to give the DC government cover, as being a non-business day, the defendants can rightfully claim that they have not received notice of the decision.


DC will, of course, appeal this decision to the DCCA. Should they lose at this stage (and everyone agrees that they will), it will be anyone's guess if they will appeal to the SCOTUS.

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