At Long, Long Last, D.C.’s Ban on Bearing Firearms Falls

July 27th, 2014

After five years, two mandamus petitions, two different federal district judges, and an intervention by Chief Justice Roberts, at long, long last, the District of Columbia’s blanket ban on bearing arms outside the home has fallen.

The procedural posture of this case redefines “tortured.” This case was first filed on August 6, 2009. Summary judgment was filed on August 26, 2009. There was a hearing on 1/22/10, and the matter was taken under advisement. Then, on July 18, 2011, eighteen months later (!), Chief Justice John Roberts reassigned the case from Judge Henry. H. Kennedy to Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. of the Northern District of New York. Why? Because of the delay!? There was a status conference on July 22, 2011. There was a motion hearing scheduled for 8/29/2012 , which was then rescheduled for 10/1/12 (a full year later?!). Matters were taken under advisement. A motion to expedite was filed on 8/9/13 (another year later?!). On October 21, 2013, Gura sought mandamus in the D.C. Circuit. On December 16, 2013, Mandamus was denied by the D.C. Circuit. Gura sought mandamus again in March 2014, which was pending when Judge Scullin finally got around to ruling on it.

In my last post from December, I commented ” I hope this is the magnum opus of Second Amendment opinions, because with all this time to work on it, it better be.”

Well, it’s not that. It is 19 pages long, and effectively parrots the 9th Circuit’s decision in Peruta. Putting aside the merits–which I agree with–it is totally inexcusable for a constitutional right to remain void for 5 years.

In any event, congratulations to Alan Gura, my co-author, on his dedication to this case. To the nuclear D.C. Circuit we go.