D.C. handgun ban found unconstitutional

Affirming the right of the people to keep and bear arms, especially in self-defense, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled Friday that key parts of the District’s handgun ban were unconstitutional.

Needless to say, opponents of self-defense were livid.

In the ruling, (PDF) the court said in its 2-1 decision that while the District could require firearms to be registered, it could not ban them outright or require them to be disassembled while in a private home, saying the ban violated the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

The case could wind up before the Supreme Court, which has not ruled on Second Amendment issues since 1939, and even that ruling was widely misunderstood. The District of Columbia is expected to appeal the decision.

The residents filed their lawsuit against the District in early 2003, months after then-Attorney Genral John D. Ashcroft declared that gun bans violate the Second Amendment. They were aided by the Cato Institute, a non-profit group that advocates personal liberties. . . .

Alan Gura, an attorney for the plaintiffs, issued a statement saying, “This is a tremendous victory for the civil rights of all Americans. The case has implications far beyond the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms. The court today affirmed that the Bill of Rights means what it says.”

Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, issued the following statement: “The 2-1 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Parker v. District of Columbia striking down the District of Columbia’s handgun law is judicial activism at its worst. By disregarding nearly seventy years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent, two Federal judges have negated the democratically-expressed will of the people of the District of Columbia and deprived this community of a gun law it enacted thirty years ago and still strongly supports.” — Washington Post

The Brady Center to Disarm Victims and Promote Gun Violence disregards some crucial facts, foremost among them is that the “democratically-expressed will of the people” doesn’t trump the Constitution unless the people choose to amend it, and that their whole crusade is designed to turn the streets of our cities into killing fields, by taking guns away from honest people, so that only criminals will have them. This sort of self-defeating activity is common to people, such as those at the Brady Center, who act out of raw emotion, without thinking about the consequences of their actions.

Last year, Congress considered a bill which would have allowed D.C. residents to own firearms for self-defense, but the bill died in committee. Perhaps this year, the Supreme Court will recognize the rights of the people where Congress has failed to do so.

One thought on “D.C. handgun ban found unconstitutional

  • March 27, 2007 at 7:59 pm
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    I have lived most of my life in California and grew up doing a lot of hunting. I recently moved back after an absence of 14 years. Frequently we wore a pistol on our hip with snake shot as California has many rattlesnakes (mmm, delicious). Now in some counties I cannot even open carry a handgun while hunting.

    I just was told by a gun dealer that I MUST register my handgun(s) (separately with a $19 fee for each one) with the California Department of Justice (facts verified online using scroogle) even though I originally purchased them in California while a resident! Fortunately I have retained my original sales receipts. I am considered an ‘Importer.’

    I am beginning to regret my decision to return to California. I will purchase lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, then move to Nevada as it is more friendly towards gun ownership and manufacturing business opportunities’another topic entirely.

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