Federal judge orders D.C. to pay $5.1 million to gun owners arrested under unconstitutional laws

A federal judge on Aug. 28 gave preliminary approval to a settlement agreement related to gun owners who had been arrested, jailed, and prosecuted — and their guns seized — under laws that since have been found to be in violation of the Second Amendment.

According to multiple media outlets, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth previously ruled in 2021 that the nation's capital had arrested gun owners "based on an unconstitutional set of laws," including a ban on carrying handguns outside the home and others that effectively banned nonresidents from carrying guns at all in D.C.

According to the Washington Post, the city will pay a total $300,000 to the six plaintiffs in the case and $1.9 million in attorney fees. The remainder is to be set aside for more than 3,000 people who could qualify for the class action, per the Post story.

The settlement agreement must still have a “fairness hearing” in December before final approval is given, according to the Post, adding that Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) signed off on the $5.1 million settlement amount in June.

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