A federal judge has ruled that people seeking a permit to carry concealed firearms in the US capital no longer need to provide “good reason” for doing so.
Judge Richard Leon on Tuesday ruled that the licensing screening is likely unconstitutional, a victory for gun rights advocates who favour loosening gun laws in the name of self-defence.
Washington has traditionally had one of the most stringent laws in the country regarding concealed carry permits, requiring individuals to justify the need to carry a gun in public.
Gun lobbies have pushed for years to strike that clause from legislation.
In his 46-page ruling, Judge Leon wrote that the clause likely violates the Second Amendment of the US constitution, because “the right to bear arms includes the right to carry firearms for self-defence both in and outside the home.” Authorities in Washington may yet lodge an appeal against Leon’s ruling. He is the third judge to consider the case.
Under the capital’s rules, individuals granted the right to carry concealed arms must stow them under clothing in a bag, or in the glove compartment of a vehicle.