The Second Amendment does not include an “unalloyed right” to carry guns in public, District officials argued in a court pleading filed Monday that seeks more time before a judge’s ruling takes effect and overturns the city’s ban on carrying handguns in public.
In the filing, the D.C. attorney general’s office for the first time hinted at arguments that it might make should authorities decide to fight in court. A key point: The court has upheld the government’s right to ban guns from “sensitive places” such as schools, post offices and libraries — and most of the District’s downtown could be defined as a “sensitive place.”
The filing also counters U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr.’s ruling by arguing that the “core” of the Second Amendment is “the right of law abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home . . . not the right to carry handguns in public.”
When he overturned the handgun ban last month, Scullin granted a 90-day stay, which expires Oct. 22, for the D.C. Council to decide whether to enact new legislation “consistent with the court’s ruling.”