Duberry v. District of Columbia, No. 15-7062 (D.C. Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, four retired correctional officers, filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that the District deprived them of their federal right under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), 18 U.S.C. 926C, to carry a concealed weapon. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. Plaintiffs allege that they meet the statutory requirements but have been unable to obtain firearms training because the District of Columbia has refused to certify that, as correctional officers, they had a statutory power of arrest. The court held that, taken together, the LEOSA’s plain text, purpose, and context show that Congress intended to create a concrete, individual right to benefit individuals like plaintiffs and that is within “the competence of the judiciary to enforce.” The court, applying de novo review, held that the complaint states a claim under section 1983. In this case, plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged that the federal right they seek to enjoy has been unlawfully deprived by the District to be remediable under Section 1983. Further, plaintiffs allege that the District’s actions resulting from its erroneous interpretation of how the LEOSA applies to these facts have deprived them of their federally established concealed-carry right. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded.