The US Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia Circuit [official website] on Tuesday vacated [text, PDF] a lower court ruling that found that a DC gun law requiring a concealed carry permit outside of the home may violate the Constitution. The appeals court found that the judge who was assigned the case did not have jurisdiction over the matter and as such the previous ruling was nullified:
The error in this case is quite understandable. The calendar committee of the district court assigned the matter to Judge Scullin because it deemed the case to be related to another case over which Judge Scullin presided. The difficulty is, while the earlier case was within the Chief Justice’s designation, the present one is not. … We have no choice but to vacate the order entered, as it was beyond the jurisdiction of the issuing judge.
At issue is a DC law that mandates an individual must have “good reason” in order to procure a conceal carry permit by demonstrating a “fear injury to his or her person, which shall at a minimum require a showing of a special need for self-protection distinguishable from the general community.” The previous ruling granted an injunction of the provision on the basis that it may infringe upon the Second Amendment [text]. The matter will now be heard by a different judge.
Gun control [JURIST backgrounder] and the Second Amendment continue to be controversial national topics, and gun awareness has risen in the wake of recent shootings in Paris, France, and San Bernadino, California [CNN report]. In October Maine’s revised concealed carry law went into effect [JURIST report] allowing legal gun owners to carry concealed weapons without a permit. Earlier that month the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld [JURIST report] the main parts of Connecticut and New York gun control legislation that ban semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. In September the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a mixed ruling [JURIST report] on DC gun laws, ultimately upholding six and striking down four controversial elements of the Firearms Registration Amendment Act and the Firearms Amendment Act of 2012. The laws were created in response to the Supreme Court striking down [opinion] a DC law prohibiting firearm ownership six years ago