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SAF: D.C. Appeals Court Strikes Down 'Good Reason' CCW Law

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today won a significant court victory against “good reason” requirements for concealed carry when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of such a requirement in Washington, D.C.

The 2-1 ruling, written by Judge Thomas Beall Griffith, a 2005 George W. Bush appointee, declared that, “At the Second Amendment’s core lies the right of responsible citizens to carry firearms for personal self-defense beyond the home, subject to longstanding restrictions…The District’s good-reason law is necessarily a total ban on exercises of that constitutional right for most D.C. residents. That’s enough to sink this law under (the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court’s Heller ruling).” 

“Today’s ruling contains some powerful language that affirms what we have argued for many years, that requiring a so-called ‘good cause’ to exercise a constitutionally-protect right does not pass the legal smell test,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We’re particularly pleased that the opinion makes it clear that the Second Amendment’s core generally covers carrying in public for self-defense.”

The 31-page majority opinion also said that the District’s “good cause” requirement was essentially designed to prevent the exercise of the right to bear arms by most District residents. Thus, it amounts to a complete prohibition, and that does not pass muster under the 2008 Heller ruling that struck down the District’s 30-year handgun ban. 

“The good-reason law,” Judge Griffith wrote, “is necessarily a total ban on most D.C. residents’ right to carry a gun in the face of ordinary self-defense needs…”

“To read the majority opinion and not come away convinced that such ‘good reason’ or ‘good cause’ requirements are just clever ways to prevent honest citizens from exercising their rights is not possible,” Gottlieb stated. “To say we are delighted with the ruling would be an understatement. We are simply more encouraged to keep fighting, winning firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time.” 

The case is Wrenn v. District of Columbia.