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Could President Perry carry a gun?

Chris Moody attempts to analyze the issue for The Ticket. The analysis could have been improved by reading the laws of the District of Columbia.

Moody describes D.C. as “a city that bans carrying firearms.” That’s not exactly correct. The D.C. Code generally prohibits carrying a firearm “without a license issued pursuant to District of Columbia law.” D.C. Code § 22-4504. It is true that in practice, the D.C. government virtually never issues carry licenses to citizens. However, the Code makes various exceptions to the license requirement, including that “The provisions of § 22-4504 shall not apply . . .to officers or employees of the United States duly authorized to carry a concealed pistol . . .” § 22-4505(a).

Thus President Perry could simply authorize himself to carry a concealed pistol. For good measure, he could likewise authorize the entire White House staff, or indeed every single employee of the United States government, to also carry a concealed pistol in D.C.

As the Moody article points out, President Perry could ask the D.C. police to deputize him, in order to take advantage of the D.C. law allowing the police to carry guns, but President Perry would have no practical need to ask the D.C. police to use their discretion to grant him the ability to do something he can do without their permission anyway.

UCLA’s Adam Winkler suggests that President Perry could issue an Executive Order authorizing him to carry. Executive Orders can apply solely to the Executive Branch of the federal government. An Executive Order could be  one mechanism (although certainly not the only one) by which President Perry could “duly authorize[]” gun carrying by himself or Executive Branch employees. However, if the D.C. Code did not have the exception for federal  employees, then it’s doubtful that an Executive […]

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