A federal appeals court announced Friday that it will not revisit some of the District’s strict gun registration requirements that it struck down last fall.
A majority of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit voted against rehearing the case as a full panel. The decision upholds an earlier three-judge ruling that knocked down the city’s one-gun-per-month law, while upholding the government’s authority to issue gun regulations that promote public safety.
In denying the city’s request, Judge Patricia A. Millett — who has been mentioned as a potential nominee to replace Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia — sought to clarify her vote on a controversial topic. Millett wrote that the city had failed to fully show in court how some of its registration requirements — particularly a 15-question test on local gun laws — were sufficiently related to the government’s interest in promoting public safety.
“The District failed that task,” Millett wrote in a brief statement attached to the court’s order.
[Read the D.C. Circuit order with Millett’s statement]
The court’s 2-to-1 ruling in September upheld as constitutional many of the District’s registration rules, such as requirements for fingerprinting and a one-hour firearms safety course. But the decision eliminated the city’s prohibition on registering more than one gun a month — a limit similar to gun-control measures in California, Maryland and New York City.
[Read more about the D.C. Circuit’s initial ruling on D.C.’s gun-control law]
A spokesman for the D.C. attorney general said the office is considering its options for possible “next steps.”