(Updated) Grace and Wrenn Decision Win!

Today, the D.C. Circuit released its long-awaited decision in Wrenn v. D.C and Grace v. DC.

These cases were consolidated on appeal for purposes of appeal and argument.  In those cases, the plaintiffs had challenged the DC statute that required the applicant to show that they had a "Good Reason" for a carry permit, defined as a reason that was special to the applicant. The full decision can be found here.  Here is the last sentence in the majority opinion:

"We vacate both orders below and remand with instructions to enter permanent injunctions against enforcement of the District's good-reason law." 

This is, of course, a huge win. The D.C. "Good Reason" statute is analytically indistinguishable from Maryland's "Good and Substantial Reason" statute.  If this opinion survives D.C.'s inevitable petition for rehearing en banc, it would create an inter-circuit split with the Fourth Circuit's Woollard decision sustaining Maryland's law.   That split substantially enhances the possibility of Supreme Court review (if DC seeks it).  A favorable Supreme Court decision would effectively overrule Woollard.  Stay tuned!

Mark W. Pennak, President, MSI

PS:  The DC Circuit also issued its standard stay order with the opinion.  That order stays the court's "mandate" until seven days after disposition of any timely petition for rehearing

or petition for rehearing en banc.  The court issues that sort of stay with all its decisions, so it is not unique to this case.  A stay of mandate means that nothing in DC has changed for now.

 

Update (August 27, 2017):

As expected, the District of Columbia filed a petition for rehearing en banc with the D.C. Circuit, seeking en banc reconsideration of the panel's landmark decision invalidating DC's "good reason" requirement for a carry permit.  You can find their rehearing petition here.   A response will be ordered by the court if any judge requests it and such an order is likely in this case.  Stay tuned.

 


Latest News

Handgun Qualification License ON TRIAL!

We are pleased that the court of appeals has allowed this important Second Amendment challenge to the Maryland Handgun Qualification License (HQL) to proceed to the merits.  We look forward to further proceedings in District Court.

You can read the opinion from the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit HERE

Court Uphold's MD's Taking of Rapid Fire Trigger Activators

 

In a sharply split, 2-1 decision, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has held that Maryland may ban the possession of "Rapid Fire Trigger Activators" by existing owners without paying just compensation under Fifth Amendment or the Maryland Constitution.  The majority ruled that no just compensation was owed to existing, lawful owners because the ban “does not require owners of rapid fire trigger activators to turn them over to the Government or to a third party.”  In short, as far as this majority is concerned, the State is free to ban the possession of any personal property without paying just compensation unless the State puts the property into its own pocket or the pocket of a third party.  If that is the law, then no personal property, of any kind, is safe from the grasping clutches of the General Assembly.  For example, the State could ban possession of your existing car and not pay a dime.  The dissenting opinion ably demolishes the majority's reasoning.  Needless to say, we will be seeking further review.

You can read the ruling HERE.  Stay tuned.

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