Stay Granted in 2nd Amendment Case Day After D.C. Seeks It.

July 29th, 2014

On Saturday, Judge Scullin found that the District’s ban on conceal carry was unconstitutional, but did not stay the ruling. As a result, the District had to scramble and put together an ad hoc policy to allow–for 2 days at least–people to bear arms outside their homes. On Monday the District sought a stay, making all of the arguments one would anticipate. Today, Judge Scullin granted a 90-day stay.

Judge Scullin wrote in the order that he granted the stay based on the agreement by the two parties that “an immediate 90-day stay is appropriate to provide the city council with an opportunity to enact appropriate legislation consistent with the Court‘s.”

The judge also rebuffed the assertion by Mr. Nathan that the initial ruling was broader than the scope of the gun owners’ lawsuit and that it appeared to apply to restrictions on the carrying of all deadly weapons and not just handguns.

“The Court notes that it sees no need to clarify its decision,” Judge Scullin wrote in the order. “The only issue before the Court was whether the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public was unconstitutional. Thus, the Court’s injunction clearly applied only to handguns and not any other type of deadly dangerous weapon.”

I’m a bit confused. Why didn’t the district court stay its own ruling, at least for a certain number of days, to allow the District to craft a legislative response, or pursue an appeal. The District made all the arguments that he should have anticipated they would make. What changed? That he was waiting for the plaintiffs to consent to an agreement? That the District had to formally request a stay which they may not have asked for in their initial pleadings (I’m not sure). In any event, the District now has 90 days to get their act together and comply with the Constitution. Or, as expected, they’ll ask for a longer stay from the D.C. Circuit.

Update: Politico posted the order.

On July 28, 2014, Defendants filed a partially unopposed motion to stay pending appeal or, in the alternative, for 180 days and for immediate administrative stay. See Dkt. No. 52 at 1. In support of this motion, Defendants’ counsel advised the Court that he had conferred with Plaintiffs’ counsel, “who indicated that [P]laintiffs do not oppose a 90-day stay starting immediately ‘pending the city council enacting remedial legislation that complies with constitutional standards.'” See id. at 1-2.

Based on the parties’ agreement that an immediate 90-day stay is appropriate to provide the city council with an opportunity to enact appropriate legislation consistent with the Court’s ruling,1 the Court hereby

ORDERS that Defendants’ motion for a stay is GRANTED to the extent that the Court’s July 24, 2014 Order is stayed nunc pro tunc for 90 days, i.e., until October 22, 2014; and the Court further