Guns

Washington D.C. used to have a gun carry law that made it so no one could carry. Those who wanted to do so argued that this was unconstitutional, violating their rights under the Second Amendment. A new law was introduced, but that law is now also being called unconstitutional on the same grounds. Two challenges were recently brought before the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C.

The New Law

The new gun law says that carrying is allowed with a permit. However, to get a permit, people have to show that their lives have been threatened already. Many people call this the "good reason clause", as it means a person has to demonstrate that he or she really has a good reason to carry a firearm before being allowed to do so. Permits are not just given out to anyone who wants one and is willing to pay. However, those fighting back claim this still infringes on their rights.

An Injunction

It's possible that an injunction will be put in place against the new law. The challenges have already been before district judges, but they did not agree on the ruling. As such, the federal court agreed to take on both of the cases at once. They then have the power to use an injunction if they see fit. This would just be a preliminary move and would not strike down the law entirely.

The main precedents in this case are the Heller Supreme Court case in D.C. and the McDonald Supreme Court case in Chicago. In both of those instances, gun bans were removed. The argument now is that the District of Columbia's new law is still too restrictive, even though it offers more options than the previous law, and that it should also be removed.

When Judges Disagree

This case does a good job of showing how court cases are not always that easy to resolve, as two judges, faced with the same issue, came to opposing decisions. It's important for people to know how the legal process can play out when this happens -- in a federal appeals court, in this case -- and how any rulings about potentially unconstitutional laws may impact their rights.