BREAKING: Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case

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A federal judge on Tuesday granted a 90-day stay in a ruling that upended the District’s ban on carrying handguns in public.

The order issued by U.S. District Court Judge Frederick Scullin brings a temporary reprieve to D.C. officials, who were sent scurrying over the weekend to interpret the effects of the ruling that gutted the city’s restrictive gun laws.

An order issued Saturday by the judge struck down the city’s ban on the carrying of guns in public as unconstitutional. While still struggling to comprehend the scope of the order, D.C. police ordered officers to stop arresting people for carrying legally registered guns on city streets.

More than 3,000 guns have been registered in the city since a 2008 Supreme Court ruling overturned the city’s near-total ban on gun ownership. Gun owners since then have only been allowed to keep their firearms in their homes or businesses.

D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan asked Monday for a stay either pending a potential appeal of the case or for 180 days to give city lawmakers time to craft appropriate legislation to regulate the carrying of guns in public.

Guns no longer have to stay inside the businesses or homes of D.C. residents who own them, according to a landmark federal court ruling issued last week. (Associated Press)

Plaintiffs in the case, who include three D.C. residents who own guns, agreed to a 90-day stay so the rulemaking could occur. The stay will be in effect until Oct. 22.

Judge Scullin wrote in the order that he granted the stay based on the agreement by the two parties that “an immediate 90-day stay is appropriate to provide the city council with an opportunity to enact appropriate legislation consistent with the Court’s.”

The judge also rebuffed the assertion by Mr. Nathan that the initial ruling was broader than the scope of the gun owners’ lawsuit and that it appeared to apply to restrictions on the carrying of all deadly weapons and not just handguns.

“The Court notes that it sees no need to clarify its decision,” Judge Scullin wrote in the order. “The only issue before the Court was whether the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public was unconstitutional. Thus, the Court’s injunction clearly applied only to handguns and not any other type of deadly dangerous weapon.