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Put those guns away for now, D.C.
The city’s gun laws will remain the same for at least another 90 days, until Oct. 22, a federal judge ruled today.
That federal judge, Frederick Scullin, ruled over the weekend that the District’s total ban on carrying a handgun in public was unconstitutional, prompting Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier to order her officers not to arrest people carrying a gun in a public spaces. (Some exceptions did apply.) The District’s Office of the Attorney General filed a motion Monday afternoon requesting a stay of the ruling until the city’s appeal is heard, or for at least 180 days so D.C. can “obtain public input and enact a compliant licensing mechanism.”
The plaintiffs in the case didn’t oppose an immediate 90-day stay, and that’s exactly what Scullin granted the city. So for now, people still can’t legally carry a handgun—-even if it’s legally registered—-in the District’s public spaces.
Based on the parties’ agreement that an immediate 90-day stay is appropriate to provide the city council with an opportunity to enact appropriate legislation consistent with the Court’s ruling, the Court hereby ORDERS that Defendants’ motion for a stay is GRANTED to the extent that the Court’s July 24, 2014 Order is stayed nunc pro tunc for 90 days, i.e., until October 22, 2014
The D.C. Council is on summer recess until Sept. 15. According to the motion for the stay that D.C. Attorney General Irv Nathan filed, the Council will work to craft legislation that aligns with the court ruling and is in the public’s interest when it reconvenes.
Read the order granting the stay here:
Gun photo by Shutterstock