Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Punching Back Twice As Hard

Since Judge Frederick Scullin issued his preliminary injunction against the District of Columbia last Monday, the District has been dragging its feet on issuing new carry permits. Indeed they now say they will review the court's order for the next 90 days. This not only contravenes the court's order but violates their own law saying that they have 90 days to issue a permit.

Lawrence Powers is an approved firearms instructor for the District of Columbia. Without the now enjoined "good cause/proper cause" critiera, there is no reason that he, of all people, is not issued a permit. He has already met all the background and training requirements to be approved as an instructor.

Fed up with the District's foot dragging, Alan Gura has filed a Motion to Hold Defendants in Contempt yesterday. After outlining the negotiations on compliance with the injunction and how the District has plainly ignored the court order, he writes:
11. The games continue. Defendants supposedly not understanding the Court’s order, they will ignore it. Of course, Defendants understand the order perfectly well. They simply dislike it. On May 26, 2015, counsel met and conferred regarding this motion. Defendants’ attorney declined to state what is ambiguous about the Court’s May 18 order, and offered only that “soon” there would be a filing discussing the matter.

12. If Defendants want a 90 day stay of the Court’s injunction, they need to ask for one. There are requirements and standards—in other words, there is actual law that governs that process. For parties in this Court, let alone government officials, to unilaterally declare a 90 day “court ignoring” period upon issuance of a preliminary injunction is simply unacceptable.

Defendants are and should be held in contempt.
 Sometime after Mr. Gura filed his Motion, the District filed a motion asking for an immediate administrative stay while they study their alternatives for an appeal. It seems that this move was anticipated because a Memorandum in Opposition was filed shortly thereafter. Mr. Gura says the District has "already granted themselves a stay" and calls their arguments "disingenuous." He goes on to say that if they really thought they faced irreparable harm, then they would have requested a stay immediately and not waited a week. As to the harm they face, he says, "Of course the District faces no harm from having to join the vast majority of the country in respecting Second Amendment rights."

It will be interesting to see what Judge Scullin does.

The Second Amendment Foundation is the organizational plaintiff in this case. This afternoon they issued a press release on the matter. Alan Gottlieb called their attempts to stall "unconscionable" and an example of "municipal arrogance."

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