Palmer v. District of Columbia: Upholding the 2nd Amendment
Government cannot pass laws, then place into practice rules, that effectively ban a constitutional right. That's the upshot of a ruling released late Saturday in a long-running Second Amendment case out of Washington, D.C.
A lawsuit filed years ago challenged the District of Columbia's ban on carrying handguns outside the home. U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. of New York, appointed to hear the case, Palmer v. District of Columbia, by Chief Justice John Roberts, found the right to a handgun cannot be proscribed in the fashion that D.C. did — requiring handgun owners to have a permit to carry but then issuing no permits.
Heavily relying on prior appellate court rulings, Judge Scullin said “there is no longer any basis on which this court can conclude that the District of Columbia's total ban on public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny.”
But as with Heller, the landmark 2008 ruling that affirmed the right of individuals to bear arms, Palmer does not preclude district lawmakers from adopting “a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards.” Past being prologue, however, D.C.'s proclivity for disingenuous and indecipherable gun laws could make any “remedy” worse.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- American contrasts: Post-Ferguson
- Thanksgiving briefing ...
- Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
- The Hagel ‘resignation’: Toadies need apply
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Greensburg Tuesday takes
- The Thursday wrap
- Slaughter in Israel: Obama’s legacy
- Obama’s amnesty: Abuse of power