Sunday, March 11, 2007

DC Gun Ban Struck Down

The Macaca Post reports:

A federal appellate panel [Friday] struck down parts of the District's gun law as unconstitutional, ruling that the city cannot bar people from keeping firearms in their homes.

The decision was a victory for six D.C. residents who said they wanted to keep firearms for self-defense. But it could have much broader implications: The case eventually could wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court as a test of the thorny issues surrounding the Second Amendment and the public's right to keep weapons.

The District has one of the strictest gun laws in the nation -- barring all handguns unless they were registered prior to 1976 -- and that law has come under attack over the past three decades in Congress as well as the courts. [The] ruling guts key parts of the law, but does not address provisions that prohibit people from carrying unregistered guns outside the home.


The ruling came on a 2-to-1 vote by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit...

"We conclude that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms," [Senior Judge Laurence H. Silberman] declared in the 58-page majority ruling.


The Supreme Court addressed the Second Amendment in 1939, but it did not hold that the right to bear arms meant specifically that an individual could do so.

[The] majority opinion said that the District has a right to regulate and require registration of firearms but not to ban them outright in homes. The ruling also struck down a section of the D.C. law that required owners of registered guns to disassemble them, saying that would render the weapons useless.

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