Nearly five years ago, the case of Palmer v. D.C. was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Following the landmark victory in D.C. v. Heller, which overturned D.C.’s ban on handguns in the home, this matter challenged the District’s total prohibition on carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home. Various motions were submitted over the course of the next year, but then the case languished, waiting for a decision on summary judgment. Meanwhile, a variety of other right-to-carry challenges made their way through the courts to their ultimate, conflicting resolutions.
Peruta v. San Diego and its brethren in the Ninth Circuit were the only other major right-to-carry cases that hadn’t been fully resolved, but even they were simply waiting for the final judicial shenanigans to be completed at the appellate level. Palmer was still pending at district court, seemingly consigned to eternal judicial delay. Until today … that is.
Ruling that “the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional” under any level of judicial scrutiny, the court struck down that ban and enjoined the enforcement of the applicable sections of D.C.’s penal code. The right to bear arms in our nation’s capital has been secured. For today … that is.
Monday may bring appeals and/or new legislation, so the struggle is still far from over.