A federal judge has interpreted the Constitution correctly in agreeing that the right to keep and bear arms does not require a reason that satisfies the state.

Up until Tuesday, citizens of Washington D.C. were required to give “good reason” to police officers when applying for a concealed-carry permit. That meant a person had to either show “good reason to fear injury” or “any other proper reason for carrying a pistol,” whether for a job or other protections.

But that’s unconstitutional and U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon struck down that requirement in his decision imposing a preliminary injunction:

Because the right to bear arms includes the right to carry firearms for self-defense both in and outside the home, I find that the District’s “good reason” requirement likely places an unconstitutional burden on this right.

The plaintiffs in the case were a gun-owner, Matthew Grace, and Pink Pistols, a gun-rights group. They argued that the Second Amendment doesn’t just grant gun ownership rights to those with a good enough reason, but for all forms of self-defense whether specific or unexpected threats. The plaintiff’s attorney said the judge ruled correctly in deciding that the District doesn’t get to select who gets constitutional rights and who doesn’t.

Not everyone was happy about the ruling. A spokesman for the D.C. attorney general said the office is reviewing it and felt the previous restriction was “reasonable to protect public safety.”

As the litigation continues, D.C. could pave the way for states like Maryland, New Jersey and New York, all of which ignore the Constitution and make its citizens provide a good reason to own a firearm. Perhaps they can heed Judge Leon’s words:

“Given that the Second Amendment’s central purpose is self-defense and that this need arises more frequently in public, it logically follows that the right to carry arms for self-defense in public lies at the very hear of the Second Amendment.”

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About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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