View Full Version : Mayor Appeals D.C. Overturned Gun Ban

09-05-2007, 5:58 AM
Whoohoo, he did it.

Mayor Appeals D.C. Overturned Gun Ban
Broad Law Struck Down In March

POSTED: 6:11 am EDT September 4, 2007
UPDATED: 7:08 pm EDT September 4, 2007

WASHINGTON -- The District of Columbia on Tuesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that struck down the city's 30-year-old ban on private handgun ownership.

If the Supreme Court takes the case, it could lead to the first direct ruling by the high court on the Second Amendment since 1939. Activists on both sides say they would welcome such a ruling. Gun control advocates have a lot to lose, however, since a ruling against the district could affect tough gun laws in other cities and states.

In announcing the appeal, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said loosened restrictions would only bring more guns to the city.

"The bottom line is we do not need more guns in this city," Fenty said at a news conference on the steps of the police department's headquarters. "The only possible outcome to more guns is more violence."

Alan Gura, a lawyer for the D.C. residents who challenged the ban, said he was "delighted" the city had asked the Supreme Court to review the decision.

"We're happy that the Supreme Court has a chance to vindicate the Second Amendment rights of all Americans, not just D.C. residents," he said.

A federal appeals court panel ruled in March that the district's broad gun law is unconstitutional, and city officials announced in July that they would take the case to the Supreme Court.

Washington's gun law bars residents from keeping handguns in their homes and prohibits the carrying of a gun without a license. Registered firearms such as rifles and shotguns must be kept unloaded and disassembled or fitted with trigger locks.

The law remains in effect during the appeals process, but if the Supreme Court refuses to take the case, the lower court ruling overturning the city law would go into effect, forcing D.C. to rewrite its gun laws.

However, Fenty noted that the appeals court ruling deals specifically with the issue of guns in the home, so it would not impact the ban against private citizens carrying handguns on the street.

D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer said she expected the Supreme Court to indicate whether it will take the case by early November and that a ruling would be expected in June.

The district argues that the Second Amendment prohibits only federal interference in the rights of states to maintain citizen militias, but does not cover the ability of citizens to own hand guns privately for other purposes. It argues that states have the right to regulate gun ownership and that the district should be treated like a state.

Singer said that handguns are "easily concealable and uniquely dangerous" and that it is reasonable to ask residents who want to keep firearms at home to choose a different type of weapon.

The ruling by the appeals court stemmed from a lawsuit by six D.C. residents who wanted to keep handguns in their home. The appeals panel found that only one of the six had standing to sue because he was the only one who had attempted to register his gun.

That plaintiff, Dick Heller, is a private security guard who is licensed by the D.C. government to carry a gun on the job.

"But when he goes home at night, he's not allowed to have it," Gura, the lawyer, said.

09-05-2007, 11:15 AM
Posting a link that includes an online debate on the current issue.

This is a good amount of debating on the subject for and against. Saul Cornell is getting his head handed to him, even though it looked as if their were more anti's than pro's.

The Federalist Society Online Debate Series

Parker v. District of Columbia: DC Gun Ban Case
August 31, 2007

Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in Parker v. District of Columbia that the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 (a local law that effectively bars District residents from owning handguns) violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In doing so, the Court became the first federal appeals court in the United States to strike down a gun control law for reasons based on the Second Amendment, and the second to interpret the Second Amendment as protecting an individual right to bear arms (the first was the 5th Circuit 2001 decision, United States v. Emerson). The District has announced that it will seek Supreme Court review, and the plaintiffs who brought the challenge have announced that they will support Supreme Court review as well, which it is widely believed the Supreme Court will grant. A panel of experts including Ohio State professor Saul Cornell, University of Tennessee Law professor Glenn Reynolds, Legal Director of the Brady Center's Campaign to Stop Gun Violence, Dennis Henigan, Executive Director of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, Joshua Horwitz, and lawyers for the plantiffs in Parker, Alan Gura (Gura & Possessky, PLLC.), Bob Levy (Cato), and Clark Neily (the Institute for Justice) predict the outcome of the case, and debate about the Second Amendment’s relation to the right to bear arms.

The debate is formatted as an unedited email exchange amongst the participants and is not intended to reflect the views of the Federalist Society.


09-05-2007, 11:50 AM