Latest Federal Court Decisions Affecting D.C. Gun Crimes Defense

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Recent rulings of the Federal Court of Appeals may significantly boost gun crimes defense as various parts of a D.C. gun permitting law have been struck down for impinging on the constitutional right to bear arms.

The new rules for gun permits in D.C. were passed after the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional a previous ban on carrying firearms in public.

Requirements for Gun Permit Applicants

The new law regulating the issuance of gun permits imposed certain requirements and conditions on gun owners. While a federal judge upheld the District’s new registration laws, some requirements were considered unconstitutional such as:

  • The requirement for gun owners to make the registered gun available for inspection
  • The requirement for gun owners to re-register a gun every three years
  • The requirement that a gun owner first pass a test on firearms laws in order to qualify for registration
  • The ban on registering more than one handgun per month

New Requirements Upheld in Court

Not all parts of the gun-permitting law were considered unconstitutional. The federal court upheld certain conditions such as:

  • The requirement for gun owners to be finger-printed and photographed
  • The requirement for gun owners to complete a safety training course, and
  • The ‘good reason/proper reason” requirement

Good Reason Requirement

The requirement that the gun owner state a good reason or proper reason for carrying a weapon as a condition for obtaining a permit became the subject of judicial scrutiny. An example for ‘good reason’ that can justify the issuance of a gun permit is employment involving transporting cash or other valuables. Similar good reason requirements are observed in other jurisdictions such as Maryland.

The US District court judge initially declared the good reason requirement as unconstitutional, but on appeal the lower court’s decision was reversed. The appellate court temporarily blocked the ruling of the district court judge.

If you are charged with carrying a gun in the District of Columbia, you may be entitled to gun crime defenses under recent court rulings. It’s important that you contact a criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and raise appropriate defenses according to the situation.

In Washington, D.C., the law firm of Lotze Mosley, LLP has extensive experience in gun crime defenses, having handled hundreds of gun crimes and helping clients obtain acquittals, favorable plea negotiations, and reduced sentences.

We also handle criminal defenses in sex crimes such as prostitution, statutory rape, and indecent exposure.

Our attorneys welcome your call today at (202) 393-0535 to discuss your situation.

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