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District of Columbia residents will be able to get licenses to carry concealed handguns outside the home, but only after they show a reason they need such a permit and complete an extensive gun-safety training course, officials said Wednesday.
Mayor Vincent Gray and other city officials said they plan to propose legislation that would make the District similar to a half-dozen states, including Maryland, where residents can be denied a concealed-carry permit if they don’t show a reason for seeking one. The Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to Maryland’s law last year.
In July, a federal judge struck down the District’s ban on carrying handguns outside the home. The judge put his ruling on hold to give the District time to rewrite its gun laws.
In 2008, the Supreme Court struck down the city’s 32-year-old ban on handguns. Since then, the District has required gun owners to register their firearms every three years, complete a safety course and be fingerprinted and photographed, among other requirements.
The D.C. Council will vote next week on the proposed emergency legislation to establish the concealed-carry program. Under the proposal, residents must complete a “more extensive” safety course than what’s required for gun owners in order to receive a concealed-carry permit. Non-residents would also be able to obtain permits if they meet the same standards.
The city’s police chief would have the authority to deny concealed-carry permits to those who don’t meet the standards.