WASHINGTON — D.C.’s police chief says she’s happy the District has time to figure out how best to react to a ruling that strikes down its ban on carrying guns in public.
A federal judge postponed until Oct. 22 his ruling that carrying a gun outside a home is protected under the Second Amendment.
“The way the ruling came down so broad and generalized it left a lot of unanswered questions,” says Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier.
To comply with the ruling when it takes effect, Lanier says the city has to put appropriate guidelines in place so officers can make valid arrests.
The city needs a law to define permitting requirements and rules that cover “concealed carry, open carry, other restrictions with D.C. residents and non D.C. residents,” Lanier says.
The D.C. City Council is in the middle of its summer recess right now.
“Council Chair Phil Mendelson who helped write the gun laws that were declared unconstitutional acknowledged it’s a challenge for the council to do this,” says Roll Call staff writer Hannah Hess.
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray says the city still is deciding whether to appeal the judge’s ruling.
Lanier says this is an important safety issue to maintain security in the nation’s capital and prevent accidental deaths, but she isn’t concerned that it will impact crime rates.
“A lot of people have pointed out that it’s not law abiding citizens who register firearms who are committing crime,” Lanier says.