On the same day that D.C. officials announced emergency legislation that will allow residents to carry handguns outside their homes, a federal judge denied the city's request for a longer stay of the late-July ruling that tossed out the city's ban on carrying guns.
In a brief order, Judge Frederick Scullin shot down D.C.'s request that the stay — currently set at 90 days — be extended until the city files an appeal of the ruling. He did say, however, that D.C. could request that the stay be extended past Oct. 22, when it is set to expire.
D.C. officials said in prior court filings that they may ask for the stay to be extended for another 90 days to allow the D.C. Council to consider legislative proposals in response to the ruling.
On Wednesday, Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson announced an emergency bill that would allow residents to apply for concealed-carry licenses, though with restrictions on who would get them and where they could go while carrying a handgun. The bill will be considered at Tuesday's legislative session, and, if passed, will go into effect a month later.
But if for any reason the bill is not passed or its implementation delayed, the current 90-day stay could expire, leaving residents free to carry registered handguns, whether openly or concealed. For two days after the July ruling D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier suspended enforcement of all carry laws, and various gun-owners said they carried their handguns with them.
In his order, Scullin also set oral arguments for Oct. 17 on a D.C. motion for reconsideration of the original ruling. In their motion, city lawyers said Scullin made "legal errors" when he found that the Second Amendment applies to both keeping and carrying handguns. They also said that he did not properly consider the city's unique status and why it should factor into D.C.'s ability to ban residents from carrying handguns.
D.C. officials have not yet said if they will appeal the ruling, but they say that a decision will be made after Scullin rules on the motion to reconsider.