The District of Columbia has seen an exponential increase in the number of permits issued for those who wish to carry concealed handguns in the wake of a recent court battle that eased restrictions.
The Daily Caller reported that the number of permit holders went up 1440 percent in the 2018 calendar year, following the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia’s decision to change the laws in D.C. in July of 2017. The Metropolitan Police Department said that as of Tuesday, 1,896 concealed carry permits had been issued by MPD in 2018.
Prior to the lift in restrictions, only 123 people in D.C. had active concealed carry permits, according to The Washington Post.
Another key factor in the rise is likely an announcement that Democrats plan to push for more gun control once they take over the House, according to The Daily Caller.
House minority leader, and likely soon to be majority leader, Nancy Pelosi announced shortly before the midterm election on Nov. 6 that working on background checks for firearms would be near the top of her agenda if Democrats took back the House, Politico reported.
D.C. had been notoriously strict in their gun control policies, however, the Wrenn v. District of Columbia case in July 2017 ruled that applicants no longer needed to prove that they had a “good reason” to get their concealed carry permit, The Daily Caller reported.
Once the rule of law went from being “may issue” to “shall issue” as pertaining to concealed carry permits, it made obtaining them much easier for those formerly restricted.
According to The Washington Post, prior to the new ruling, police rejected 77 percent of applicants for failing to have a “good reason” for needing to carry a firearm.
Following the regulations being rolled back, not only are more applications being let through, but the MPD has also approved additional firearm instructors, who can be contacted through their website, in order for applicants to obtain the necessary gun range requirements.
Jerry Rapp, the director and owner of the Alexandria, Virginia-based SpecDive Tactical and SpecDive LLC. is one of the approved MPD firearms instructors.
“(My classes) have been a mix of both D.C. — a lot of Virginia people and a few Maryland. Everybody is very excited. It’s neat to be able to have the opportunity to carry in D.C. even though it’s very restrictive,” Rapp told The Daily Caller.
Rapp also saw a “big wave” of interest in his courses from the local gun activist community.
The firearms instructor said that his numbers have leveled out months following the ruling, but that he still has 10 to 20 person classes that fill within about two weeks.
One applicant interviewed by The Daily Caller said that he already had his Utah permit, but was also looking to get one in D.C.
“I’m pleased because only the ones that qualify would really get concealed,” the applicant said.
“If you don’t qualify you’re not going to get it. So, I’m really pleased,” he said. “It’s a free country … your right to bear arms.”
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