The effect of SCOTUS: Lawsuit challenges DC gun control and Alabama cites Dobbs to ban gender-affirming care
Four D.C. men filed a lawsuit last month challenging the ban on carrying concealed firearms on public transit, arguing that it violates their Second Amendment rights.
As D.C. law currently stands, people with concealed carry permits cannot bring those weapons in “sensitive areas,” including schools, medical offices, polling places, the Capitol grounds, and the transit system. In the lawsuit filed on June 30th, the plaintiffs argue that the D.C. Metro should be removed from the list:
Public transportation vehicles and stations, essentially the D.C. Metro, share few, if any, characteristics supporting the designation of other locations as sensitive areas. They are not substantially populated with persons lacking the physical ability to defend themselves with a firearm or other tool. They are not populated with individuals who would be high value targets to a terrorist or active killer…The Metro is essentially a commercial enterprise providing an essential transportation service to an area with highly congested routes of travel. And although Metro has its own police force, the overwhelming number of trains and buses lack any police presence. There is not a tradition or history of prohibitions of carrying firearms on public transportation vehicles. In short there is no basis to label the Metro as a sensitive area.
The plaintiffs spend a considerable amount of space attempting to prove that there “was plainly a tradition of firearms carry when citizens traveled from their homes,” citing the Supreme Court’s recent Bruen opinion striking down New York’s concealed carry permitting law on the basis that possession of pistols in public was a constitutional right under the Second Amendment.
Given the decisions in Bruen and Heller, The District of Columbia may not ban the keeping and bearing of arms for self-defense that are not unusually dangerous, deny individuals the right to carry arms in non-sensitive places, deprive individuals of the right to keep or carry arms in an arbitrary and capricious manner, or impose regulations on the right to keep and carry arms that are inconsistent with the Second Amendment and the historical tradition of firearms regulation in the United States.
In April 2022, the Metrorail averaged 223,000 daily trips on weekdays and the Metrobus averaged 293,250 daily trips. “The increase in riders has led to more complaints on social media about crowded trains, particularly during the morning and afternoon rush,” according to a report by the Washington Post. The plaintiffs argue that they should be allowed to carry firearms on transit not despite the crowded conditions, but because of it: “DC’s prohibition on carrying arms in the Metro system is what would make Metro a soft target.”
Alabama cited the Supreme Court’s recent Dobbs opinion, delegating abortion rights to the states, in a court case seeking to reinstate a ban on gender-affirming medical treatments for transgender youths.
Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law the nation’s first law criminalizing gender-affirming care in April, making it a felony punishable by up to a decade in prison for doctors to provide or recommend puberty blockers or hormone therapies to patients younger than 19 years old.
In a statement, the governor appeared to say that she does not believe transgender people exist — ”if the good Lord made you a boy, you are a boy, and if he made you a girl, you are a girl.”
In May, U.S. District Judge Liles Burke (Trump appointee) issued a preliminary injunction to stop the state from enforcing the ban on transitioning medications. “Defendants produce no credible evidence to show that transitioning medications are ‘experimental,'” wrote Liles. “While Defendants offer some evidence that transitioning medications pose certain risks, the uncontradicted record evidence is that at least twenty-two major medical associations in the United States endorse transitioning medications as well-established, evidence-based treatments for gender dysphoria in minors.”
Alabama appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals last month, arguing that—like the Supreme Court said about abortion in Dobbs— [t]ransitioning treatments are neither ‘deeply rooted’ nor ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,’” and thus the state has the authority to ban them.
No one—adult or child—has a right to transitioning treatments that is deeply rooted in our Nation’s history and tradition. The State can thus regulate or prohibit those interventions for children, even if an adult wants the drugs for his child. Just as the parental relationship does not unlock a Due Process right allowing parents to obtain medical marijuana or abortions for their children, neither does it unlock a right to transitioning treatments. The Constitution reserves to the State—not courts or medical interest groups—the authority to determine that these sterilizing interventions are too dangerous for minors.