THE DISTRICT
City to drop appeal
of ruling on gun ban

The District will drop its appeal of a federal judge’s ruling last July that struck down the city’s long-standing ban on carrying firearms in public to focus on defending its new law to regulate weapons against constitutional challenge, D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced Wednesday.

“We need to focus our energies not on litigating old laws, but defending new ones that our leaders enacted in good faith to comply with court rulings while still protecting public safety,” Racine said in a statement. “We are vigorously defending it in the district court, and we are confident that it will be upheld.”

After U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. overturned the District’s toughest-in-the-nation carry ban last summer, the D.C. Council authorized D.C. police to set up a licensing framework that requires applicants to give a good reason to carry a weapon. Emergency legislation took effect March 7, and a permanent law will take effect in May, unless Congress disapproves it.

— Spencer Hsu

maryland
Gutierrez considers running for Congress

Maryland Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Montgomery) said she is seriously considering running to replace Rep. Chris Van Hollen in Congress.

“I’m considering it very positively,” said Gutierrez, 73, a former Montgomery County Board of Education member who represents Van Hollen’s old state house district (Kensington, Garrett Park and Chevy Chase). “It’s a rare opportunity to raise issues at the congressional level that are important that we speak out on.” She said education, immigration and women’s issues are at the top of her list.

Gutierrez is one of at least a dozen Montgomery politicians who have expressed interest in the seat, which Van Hollen is vacating to run for Senate.

— Bill Turque

virginia
Some charges against Morrissey dropped

A judge Wednesday dismissed a four-count felony indictment against Joseph D. Morrissey, the former Virginia lawmaker who spent his nights behind bars during the legislative session.

Morrissey had faced charges that he presented forged documents during a court proceeding in a case in which he was accused of having sex with and sharing photos of his law office receptionist, who was 17.

Retired Alexandria judge Alfred D. Swersky ruled that a plea agreement reached in that case barred him from facing further charges.

— Jenna Portnoy