Biden admin urges court not to allow guns on DC Metro trains
The Biden administration on Friday urged a Washington, D.C., court to uphold the District’s ban on carrying handguns on its Metro trains.
The administration filed a statement of interest, which is meant to declare the country’s interests in a federal court case, to oppose a lawsuit four individuals filed to block D.C.’s law banning handguns on public transit.
Legal experts have said the ruling could have major implications for other gun laws that may have less steady constitutional grounds after the decision.
The administration said in its statement that the court reiterated in its ruling that “longstanding” laws that prohibit the carrying of firearms in “sensitive” places like schools and government buildings are presumably valid.
The statement says that the Transportation Department has an interest in ensuring that states, localities and transit systems can impose “reasonable” restrictions on firearms carried in public transportation systems. It also states that the federal government’s workforce relies heavily on the Metro to travel to work.
The administration argues that D.C.’s limits on carrying handguns on the Metro are comparable to the court allowing weapon restrictions in sensitive places. It argued the federal government’s interest is in the security of the metro system because its employees regularly use it.
The administration also argued that the crowded nature of the Metro and that “vulnerable” individuals often use the transit system make it a sensitive location.
D.C. also considers schools, government buildings, medical offices, businesses that serve alcohol and polling places where voting is taking place to be sensitive locations where firearms are forbidden.