March 9th, 2007

Court Strikes Down DC Gun Ban

In a major legal opinion based on the Second Amendment, a three-judge panel of U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia declared the DC ban on handguns to be unconstitutional. The decision, which could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, held the DC law void on the grounds that the U.S. Constitution guarantees individual citizens (not just “militia”) the right to keep and bear arms.

Senior Judge Silverman’s majority opinion declared:

“To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad). In addition, the right to keep and bear arms had the important and salutary civic purpose of helping to preserve the citizen militia….Despite the importance of the Second Amendment’s civic purpose, however, the activities it protects are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual’s enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or intermittent enrollment in the militia.”

Download and Read Majority Opinion.

Link (with Video): MSNBC Report

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