Argument: Rulings that the DC handgun ban is unconstitutional

Issue Report: DC handgun ban

Supporting Evidence

  • David Nakamura and Robert Barnes , “D.C.’s Ban On Handguns In Homes Is Thrown Out,Fenty Promises to Fight Appellate Court’s Ruling” Washington Post Staff Writers,Saturday, March 10, 2007; Page A01 A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that the District’s longtime ban on keeping handguns in homes is unconstitutional. The 2 to 1 decision by an appellate panel outraged D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and other city leaders, who said that they will appeal and that gun-related crimes could rise if the ruling takes effect. The outcome elated opponents of strict gun controls because it knocked down one of the toughest laws in the country and vindicated their interpretation of the U.S. Constitution’s language on the right to bear arms. The panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit became the nation’s first federal appeals court to overturn a gun-control law by declaring that the Second Amendment grants a person the right to possess firearms. One other circuit shares that viewpoint on individual rights, but others across the country say the protection that the Second Amendment offers relates to states being able to maintain a militia. Legal experts said the conflict could lead to the first Supreme Court review of the issue in nearly 70 years. (…) Senior Judge Laurence H. Silberman wrote the majority opinion, also signed by Thomas B. Griffith. Karen LeCraft Henderson dissented. All three were appointed by Republican presidents. “We conclude that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms,” Silberman said in the 58-page majority ruling.