Wrenn v. District of Columbia

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

Today, our firm filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in support of a challenge to the District of Columbia’s requirement that a person must demonstrate a “good reason” in order to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon.  Our brief noted that before Heller, the federal courts perpetuated the charade that the right of “the People” was a collective rather than an individual right.  Now, we argued, the lower courts are perpetuating a new charade — that rights which “shall not be infringed” can indeed be infringed so long as the government strongly desires to do so, and judges believe the regulations are reasonable.  Our brief argued that use of such “interest-balancing” tests permits judges to come to whatever result they prefer, as this case uniquely indicates.

In this case, two different district court judges issued two different opinions on the same facts and applying the same law.  In another related case, a third judge issued yet another opinion on virtually the same facts and identical law.  While one would think that all three judges would have similar (or at least harmonious) opinions, the opposite was true.  All three opinions come to wildly varying conclusions, based more on the temperament of the particular judge, rather than the text of the Second Amendment.  That, we argued, is the rule of man, not the rule of law.

Our brief was filed on behalf of Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners Foundation, U.S. Justice Foundation, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Heller Foundation.

Link to brief