Washington DC police instructed not to enforce ‘unconstitutional’ handgun ban

I know The Guardian is not a pro gun rights source, but I think this story is worth noting.

From The Guardian UK: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/28/washington-dc-handgun-ban-police-unconstitutional

Attorney general expected to request stay of judge’s ruling on citywide ban on carrying handguns outside the home

in New York and agencies
theguardian.com, Monday 28 July 2014

Police in Washington DC have been instructed not to enforce a citywide ban on carrying handguns outside the home, after a federal judge ruled Saturday that the ban was unconstitutional. The city’s attorney general is expected to request a stay of the ruling until the city decides whether to appeal, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.

Washington’s metropolitan police department has interpreted the ruling to mean the ban is no longer in effect, and that city residents with properly registered handguns can carry guns outside the home.

Rules that prevent convicted felons from carrying firearms are still in effect, and residents of other states must abide by their respective states’ registration and carry laws, or they could face charges.

“If you are a DC resident, of course your gun must be registered, you cannot just walk around with an unregistered weapon,” said Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson, Iftmania Bonilla.

The ruling is the result of a 2009 lawsuit filed by Tom G Palmer and the Second Amendment Foundation. An attorney for the group, Alan Gura, told the Washington Post that the ruling invalidated the ban, that residents of Washington with registered handguns should be able to carry immediately and that the measure would improve public safety.

“We won,” Gura told Fox News. “I’m very pleased with the decision that the city can’t forbid the exercise of a fundamental constitutional right.” The city is expected to appeal. Gura said, “We’ll be happy to keep the fight going.”

The ruling from US District Judge Frederick J Scullin is the latest in a protracted fight over gun laws in the district. In 2008, the US supreme court issued a landmark decision striking down the city’s 32-year-old ban on handguns. Since then, the city has rewritten its laws, lawsuits have been filed and even Congress has waded into the fight.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/28/washington-dc-handgun-ban-police-unconstitutional

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