Federal Court Strikes Down ‘Nation’s Last Explicit’ Gun Ban; Press Mostly Ignores

On Saturday, District of Columbia Circuit Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. finally ruled that the city of Washington's ban on residents carrying firearms outside their homes is unconstitutional.

Emily Miller at Fox News calls it a decision which "leaves no gray area in gun-carrying rights." But a Google News search on "Washington DC gun case" (not in quotes, sorted by date), returned only 16 items, only one of which — a terse five-paragraph Reuters dispatch carried at the New York Times and appearing in Sunday's paper on Page A16 — is from a U.S. establishment press outlet.


A search at the Associated Press's national web site indicates that the wire service has no national story.

At his blog, Alan Gura (pictured above), who argued two Supreme Court decisions (Heller and McDonald) which should have caused the city to repeal the law involved, writes that "the nation’s last explicit ban of the right to bear arms has bitten the dust." Gura, with the support of the Second Amendment Foundation, also argued on behalf of the defendants in this case (Palmer v. District of Columbia).

SCOTUSblog's Lyle Denniston calls the now struck-down law "the nation's last total ban on carrying a gun in public."

Here's an excerpt from Denniston's SCOTUSblog post (bolds are mine):

... In his final ruling, Judge Scullin declared that the Second Amendment right to carry a gun outside the home applies not only to residents of Washington, D.C., but also to visitors to the city. One of the individuals who sued was not a resident. The ruling applies both to open and concealed carrying of handguns in public.

The judge did not impose any delay on his ruling against enforcement. His order simply barred enforcement as of the formal date of the ruling — July 24.

The order was signed in Syracuse on Thursday, and was released on the Washington court’s docket two days later.

It is unclear when a new case testing Second Amendment rights outside the home will again be pursued at the Supreme Court. The Seventh Circuit decision embracing such a right came to an end without further appeal, after the Illinois state legislature wiped out the last statewide ban on public carrying of guns, and the Ninth Circuit decision against the carrying ban in San Diego County has been bogged down in months of wrangling over pleas by California and others for reconsideration of the case before the en banc Ninth Circuit.

The defining conclusion in the ruling itself:

... 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.

Unfortunately for the establishment press, whose gun-grabbing sympathies are well-documented and go back several decades, if they ignore a story on a struck-down unconstitutional gun ban, it's still unconstitutional, and still struck down.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.