Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the December issue of Townhall Magazine.
“In light of Heller, McDonald and their progeny,” Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. wrote in his Palmer v. District of Columbia ruling this summer, “there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny. Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional.”
It was a decision celebrated by gun rights activists everywhere, and one the Second Amendment Foundation had been waiting for since 2009, when the nonprofit group first filed the lawsuit on behalf of three D.C. residents and a New Hampshire resident.
But the battle to uphold the right to keep and bear arms in our nation’s capital would continue even after the victory in the Palmer case, as the District council soon thereafter voted to implement a highly restrictive and controversial may-issue carry law, which forces law abiding citizens to show “good reason” for wanting to carry a weapon.
Alan Gura, SAF’s attorney who challenged the ban, isn’t giving up on the fight, however, which is continuing to play out in court this fall.
“At the end of the road, wherever, whenever that is, is tough to say,” Phil Watson, SAF’s director of special projects, said of the future of Palmer. “But I think we’re gonna be winning because no matter if you think we’ve been advancing slowly or quickly, we’re advancing.”