A US federal judge has issued a ruling that orders police to stop requiring people to justify the need for obtaining a permit to carry firearms in the country’s capital, Washington.
US district court Judge Richard Leon ruled on Tuesday that the licensing screening, which is a section of the capital’s law requiring people who want to carry a gun in public to show a “good reason”, is unconstitutional.
In his 46-page ruling, Leon wrote that the clause likely violates the Second Amendment of the US constitution, because “the right to bear arms includes the right to carry firearms for self-defense both in and outside the home.”
“The District’s understandable, but overzealous, desire to restrict the right to carry in public a firearm for self-defense to the smallest possible number of law-abiding, responsible citizens is exactly the type of policy choice the Justices had in mind,” he added.
The move is deemed as a victory for pro-gun activists, who favor loosening gun laws in the name of self-defense,
Gun lobbies in the country have pushed for years to remove that clause from legislation and Leon is the third judge to consider the case.
In January, US President Barack Obama vowed to bypass Republican-dominated Congress and its opposition to gun control through introducing a raft of executive actions to resolve the country’s gun crisis.
According to figures by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), firearms kill more than 33,000 people in the United States every year, a number that includes accidental discharge, murder, and suicides.
The agency has put the total number of domestic gun deaths at 1.5 million between 1968 and 2014.