DC Has to Pay Millions to Gun Owners After Violating Their Second Amendment Rights

Elena Yakusheva / shutterstock.com
Elena Yakusheva / shutterstock.com

Six gun owners have won a class action lawsuit against Washington, DC. They were arrested under draconian gun laws that have since been struck down by the Supreme Court. A larger group of unnamed gun owners who were likewise affected by DC’s anti-gun laws will also share a portion of the $5.1 million settlement.

The laws basically prohibited anyone from outside the city from carrying a firearm in their vehicles or on their persons, which is such a clear infringement of the Second Amendment that the ruling is not surprising.

The lead plaintiff in the case was Maggie Smith, a nurse from North Carolina. She was pulled over in a routine traffic stop back in 2014. She had no criminal record, and she politely informed the DC cops that she had a firearm in the vehicle that was registered in her home state. The cops arrested her, seized her sidearm, and threw her in jail overnight.

Gerard Cassagnol lived in Maryland but worked in northern Virginia. He had to commute through DC every morning and evening. When he was pulled over, the police asked him whether he had a gun in his vehicle. He said that he did. It was kept in a locked safe in the trunk of the car, unloaded, and with a trigger lock attached. He was off to jail for two nights, and he got fired from his job because of the arrest.

Lawyers for the District of Columbia argued that the plaintiffs should have gotten their firearms licensed by the city. The judge noted that at the time when the two were arrested, it was impossible for the plaintiffs to have been awarded a license by DC. This is yet another quiet victory brought to gun owners by Donald Trump’s appointment of three new justices to the US Supreme Court and his many stellar District and Appeals Court justices.