Gun owners sue DC for right to carry concealed handguns on Metro trains, buses

Following the recent Supreme Court decision expanding the right to carry firearms in public for self-defense, four local gun owners have sued D.C. for the right to carry on public transportation.

The plaintiffs, three D.C. residents and one Virginia resident, are suing the District for the right to carry concealed guns on Metro trains and buses.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs are described as regular public transportation riders who have concealed pistol carry licenses issued by D.C. police and who regularly carry them for protection in the District.

The Office of the Attorney General for D.C. told WTOP that it will not comment on this specific lawsuit, but in response to the Supreme Court’s decision expanding gun rights last week, a spokesperson said the office will “continue to defend the District’s common sense gun regulations and keep District residents safe. As the Supreme Court said, the Second Amendment is not a license to keep and carry any weapon in any manner for any purpose.”

In the Supreme Court’s decision expanding gun rights, it held that jurisdictions would still be able to ban concealed carry in “sensitive” places like government buildings. The decision struck down a New York law requiring people to demonstrate a need for carrying a gun in order to get a license to carry a concealed gun in public.

The plaintiffs argue in their lawsuit that there is no basis to label Metro as a sensitive area.

The lawsuit argues that, while Metro has its own police force, many of the trains and buses lack police presence.

“There is not a tradition or history of prohibitions of carrying firearms on public transportation vehicles. In short there is no basis to label the Metro as a sensitive area,” the lawsuit says.

“Even if the public transportation vehicles could be considered ‘sensitive areas,’ the prohibition on licensed carry on such vehicle is a substantial infringement on licensees’ Second Amendment rights. This is especially the case as to persons of limited means lacking access to alternative transportation.”

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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