Washington, DC – -(AmmoLand.com)- The post NYSRPA v. Bruen lawsuits are flying out to anti-civil rights plaintiffs all over the country. The opinion clearly outlines that the Second Amendment specifically protects the right of the people to be able to carry firearms in public for self-defense. Further solidifying the grounds on which people can make injury claims in such situations, the opinion did narrowly list carve outs for so-called sensitive places, and through the lens of NYSRPA v. Bruen, many bans won’t be able to hold water. The Second Amendment Institute (SAI) filed suit against the District of Columbia on June 30th, Angelo, et.al. v. District of Columbia, et.al. The complaint outlines four plaintiffs, Gregory T. Angelo, Tyler Yzaguirre, Robert M. Miller, and Cameron M. Erickson, who are challenging Washington DC’s ban on the carry of firearms on their Metro system.
Their first claim for relief outlines the issue:
81. DC Code § 7-2509.01(6) prohibits Plaintiffs from carrying their personal protection firearms on public transportation vehicles, including the Metro trains and Metro stations. No national historical tradition of firearms regulation supports this ban, and this ban is a substantial infringement of Plaintiffs’ ability to use a handgun for personal protection. As such, it violates Plaintiffs Second Amendment rights.
82. Defendants’ laws, customs, practices, and policies banning Plaintiffs from carrying their personal protection firearms on public transportation vehicles violates the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, facially and as applied against the individual Plaintiffs in this action, damaging plaintiffs in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs are therefore entitled to preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against such laws, customs, polies, and practices and damages.
The full complaint not only brings to light the shaky and unconstitutional prohibition of the bearing of arms on the Metro, it also goes through and highlights other areas in the District where the city takes an overly liberal approach to what’s considered sensitive. An example that was brought up covers the dichotomy of thoughts on the carry of arms at memorials and monuments.
DC prohibits carry in the public memorials on the Mall and around the Tidal Basin and areas where carrying a firearm is prohibited by federal law, including the Capitol Grounds. DC Code Section 7-2509.07(a)(10). Areas prohibited by federal law needs no further discussion. The memorials are plainly a possible target of a terrorist or active killer given their status as landmarks and symbols of the country. To that extent one could argue that these locations could be considered sensitive; but these facts might also suggest a heightened need for persons to be able to defend themselves. They are also, however, areas that generally have a high degree of police presence to provide added security.
George Lyon, the attorney representing SAI said, “No historical justification exists for DC to consider public transportation vehicles and stations as sensitive areas. The DC Metro system does not screen passengers so nothing stops armed criminals from entering the subway or getting on a bus and attacking passengers.” He added about how it’s kind of paradoxical to ban arms in such a place because he noted, “As one police officer told me ‘the Metro is really where you need a gun.'”
Three of the plaintiffs had the following commentaries to make about this monumental suit:
“The District should focus on taking dangerous criminals off the streets, not prohibiting law abiding gun owners from concealed carry in the Metro.” – Cameron Erickson
“People saying that this case is about the right to shoot a firearm on the DC Metro are missing the forest for the trees. I live in Washington, DC and do not own a car. I take the Metro almost everywhere, everyday. Even though I am licensed to concealed-carry in the District, I am, for all intents and purposes, prohibited from exercising my constitutional right.” – Gregory T. Angelo
“The belief that crime will increase by allowing law-abiding citizens to carry guns is delusional. Gun control advocates parrot the phrase “common sense gun safety.” Gun control in the United States has never been common, nor has it ever made any sense.” – Rob Miller
Yzaguirre, the fourth plaintiff in the case is also SAI’s president. He and I chatted at length a few months ago about SAI’s future plans and potential filings. If things continue to go as planned, this won’t be the only case coming from the offices of SAI. In discussing this case, Yzaguirre said he has a message for the people at large in the District about the Metro carry ban, “Wake up my fellow metro riders! This isn’t about me wanting to be the hero. This is about me wanting to exercise one of our most basic Constitutional rights as Americans, the right to defend myself. I ride the metro almost every day, and I refuse to be a victim.”
Angelo, et.al. v. District of Columbia, et.al. was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and it’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. SAI is a new kid on the block when it comes to the Second Amendment fight, and they’ve been aggressively ramping up their litigation efforts, as well as further fulfilling one of their key goals of educating the public.
About John Petrolino
John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use and NRA certified pistol, rifle, and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com on twitter at @johnpetrolino, facebook at @thepenpatriot and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii .