After almost a decade of litigation, Washington, D.C. will pay out $5.1 million to settle a federal class-action lawsuit that challenged the city’s unconstitutional gun control laws. Under the settlement agreement, which received preliminary approval on Monday, the six gun owners who filed the lawsuit will receive $50,000 each.
One of those named plaintiffs was Maggie Smith, a North Carolina nurse who was pulled over by the Metropolitan Police Department in June 2014. During the stop, Smith told the officers that she was carrying a pistol licensed in her home state. Police arrested Smith, seized her gun, and threw her in jail, where she spent the night. Ultimately, both the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the D.C. Attorney General dropped the charges filed against her. Before that incident, Smith didn’t have any criminal record.
Another named plaintiff, Gerard Cassagnol, was driving home to Maryland from his office in Northern Virginia when he was stopped by the MPD. Cassagnol told the officers that he was traveling with a firearm locked inside a safe in his trunk; he even gave them the combination to open it. Nevertheless, the MPD seized Cassagnol and his gun and kept him in jail for two nights. While all charges were eventually dropped, after his arrest, Cassasngol was fired from his job.
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