This is the final part of a three part series on DC gun laws. In the first part, I discussed the current state of DC gun laws and how its important to challenge current gun charges on the basis of the law’s unconstitutionality. The second part discussed the process for attempting to withdraw a guilty plea on a gun conviction under the District’s old law and weighed the pros and cons of trying to withdraw a guilty plea. This final part discusses the class action lawsuit filed by Scrofano Law PC and the Law Office of William Claiborne.
In Smith et al v. District of Columbia, we argue that after Palmer was decided, the District government should not have continued to prosecute gun offenses. We argue that the government’s prosecution of unconstitutional gun laws violated plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights. In addition, we argue that the seizure of guns violated the plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment rights. As previously discussed, a typical scenario that occurs in the District of Columbia is a law abiding out of state resident visiting the District who is unaware of the District’s draconian gun laws gets pulled over for a minor traffic violation. That person tells the law enforcement officer that she has a gun in the vehicle—as one is typically trained to do in gun safety courses. Then, the officer arrests that person and charges them with a felony gun crime.