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Gun Rights Activists Ask Judge To Deny D.C. Request For Longer Stay Of Ruling

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The legal wrangling over D.C.'s gun laws continues, and gun rights activists who are suing the city over its ban on handguns in public say the judge shouldn't postpone his ruling past 90 days.

Last week, Judge Frederick Scullin ruled that D.C.'s ban on people carrying handguns outside their homes is unconstitutional. The ruling went into effect for a couple of days, but then Scullin granted the city's request to delay it so that District lawmakers had enough time to change the city's firearms laws.

Scullin agreed to stay his ruling for 90 days, though D.C. has continued to ask for a 180-day stay or a stay pending an appeal. But in a court filing, Alan Gura, the lawyer for the gun rights activists, argued that the judge shouldn't delay the ruling past that point because the case involves constitutional rights.

"Considering the severe and irreparable harm inflicted upon the public by the denial of this fundamental constitutional right, any stay for the sole purpose of accommodating the legislative process must therefore be brief," he argues in the filing.

Gura also writes that the judge shouldn't grant a stay if the city decides to appeal the ruling.

It's still unclear how the city will respond to the ruling, though they have asked for two weeks to submit their own filing justifying the request for a long stay.

D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan hasn't said whether he'll appeal the ruling, and lawmakers — who are currently on summer recess — haven't scheduled a meeting to craft new gun legislation. The current stay expired on Oct. 22.

Gun Ruling by Martin Austermuhle

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