Skip to comments.DC Circuit strikes down DC gun law
Posted on 03/09/2007 8:10:02 AM PST by crypticalEdited on 03/09/2007 10:38:14 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
BREAKING NEWS -- Divided three-judge D.C. Circuit panel holds that the District of Columbia's gun control laws violate individuals' Second Amendment rights: You can access today's lengthy D.C. Circuit ruling at this link.
According to the majority opinion, "[T]he phrase 'the right of the people,' when read intratextually and in light of Supreme Court precedent, leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual." The majority opinion sums up its holding on this point as follows:
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. The civic purpose was also a political expedient for the Federalists in the First Congress as it served, in part, to placate their Antifederalist opponents. The individual right facilitated militia service by ensuring that citizens would not be barred from keeping the arms they would need when called forth for militia duty. 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.
The majority opinion also rejects the argument that the Second Amendment does not apply to the District of Columbia because it is not a State. And the majority opinion concludes, "Section 7-2507.02, like the bar on carrying a pistol within the home, amounts to a complete prohibition on the lawful use of handguns for self-defense. As such, we hold it unconstitutional."
Senior Circuit Judge Laurence H. Silberman wrote the majority opinion, in which Circuit Judge Thomas B. Griffith joined. Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson dissented.
Judge Henderson's dissenting opinion makes clear that she would conclude that the Second Amendment does not bestow an individual right based on what she considers to be binding U.S. Supreme Court precedent requiring that result. But her other main point is that the majority's assertion to the contrary constitutes nothing more than dicta because the Second Amendment's protections, whatever they entail, do not extend to the District of Columbia, because it is not a State.
This is a fascinating and groundbreaking ruling that would appear to be a likely candidate for U.S. Supreme Court review if not overturned first by the en banc D.C. Circuit.
Update: "InstaPundit" notes the ruling in this post linking to additional background on the Second Amendment. And at "The Volokh Conspiracy," Eugene Volokh has posts titled "Timetable on Supreme Court Review of the Second Amendment Case, and the Presidential Election" and "D.C. Circuit Accepts Individual Rights View of the Second Amendment," while Orin Kerr has a post titled "DC Circuit Strikes Down DC Gun Law Under the 2nd Amendment."
My coverage of the D.C. Circuit's oral argument appeared here on the afternoon of December 7, 2006. Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman
Are you really saying that calling someone an "a-hole" (censored version) is holding back? Swapping $ for S didn't make it any better. You were getting pretty rude there for a bit.
I have low expectations of RP based on experience. Don't get uyour hopes up, either.
Well listen to you. Before I ever posted to you, here's how you introduced yourself to me: "Try reading the ruling before opening your mouth", "making stupid asumptions", "wipe off my computer screen".
In my first post to you I acknowledged my mistake by saying "my bad". Quite civil, despite your tone.
Oh, but you looked at that as an invitation to be even more abusive, saying that I had "little knowledge of the law" and I should "do a bit more studying and research." You followed that with your bitchy little summary capped with "who's the real idiot here?"
It was only at that point that I responded to you in kind.
So, in summary -- you condescending little a$$wipe -- take your advice about "winning over people" and stick it.
You used the "idiot" term against another poster first. You were being rude to everyone here. Nowhere did I descend to profanity. You alone went there. In short, you did indeed start it.
As for others, you were getting a lot of basic things wrong, and yet, you were being just as rude as rude can be on this thread. How do you expect people to respond to that?
BTW, pointing out those inaccuracies is not nitpicking. It wasn't a case of you saying, for example, that something costs $23.53 and someone else jumping on you and saying it costs $23.54. The facts being debated were a bit more important than that.
It has become apparent to me that you love to argue, but for tonight, I'm done.
Reasonable restrictions also might be thought consistent with a well regulated Militia. The registration of firearms gives the government information as to how many people would be armed for militia service if called up. Reasonable firearm proficiency testing would both promote public safety and produce better candidates for military service.
If they want people eligable for the militia to submit their names and contact info, that is one thing. They don't need an inventory of your equipment.
Also, they may want proficiency testing for membership in the "organized" militia, but not as a condition to own "arms".
You are not on "our" side. From post #664:
QUESTION: "Do you believe the Second Amendment protects an individual right or a collective right?"
Your reply: It protects the ability of a state to form a militia from federal infringement. I guess that makes it a collective right, though it's really an individual right applied collectively.
You talk out of both sides of your mouth.
Agreed, but what I posted is from the majority opinion.
My contention is only that it can be lawfully removed from some individuals.
A) A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
B) The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Basically, you're saying that "A" and "B" are the same thing. Identical, really.
Then why all the extra words in "A"? Madison thought it would look cool?
My opinion is based on the vast majority of court opinions. What are you going on, feelings?
It is misleading to say that everyone would "then" have no protection against such infringments on the RKBA. There is no federal protection against state and local infringments "now". You already conceded that a SCOTUS decision saying that the RKBA was NOT an individual right wouldn't affect state laws - Post #607
That is covered pretty well in the decision. Sorry it shoots down your entire posting history on this forum.
You were asked for your view of the Second Amendment, not your view of how courts have interpreted it.
What are you going on, feelings?
The plain meaning of the language, Sarah.
Mayor Fenty is outside of himself over this - surprise, surpise. At least Anthony Williams didn't seem to fly off the handle so easily. But then this is a mayor who protests DC congressional non-voting representation by dissing the First Lady and going to Pelosi's box instead during the State of the Union as if the President can legislate such things and Congress cannot. Clueless.
Unfortunately, In my humble and ignorant opinion it doesn't have nearly that much potential. The VPC is just trying to drum up hysteria in the anti-gun ranks in order to raise more money from the kooks and gun control freaks who support it financially.
The decision is actually quite narrow in scope. If I correctly interpreted what I read of it, it is tailored to strike down only those sections of the DC law that (A) prohibited registering a handgun unless it had been previously registered prior to a certain date in 1976, which in effect made it impossible to legally possess a handgun brought into the D.C after that date, and (B) mandated that a gun in the home be kept partially disassembled or made non-functional in some other way, and (C) prohibited a handgun to be carried anywhere at all, including from room to room of the owner's home.
OTOH if the VPC ranting is right, my ignorant opinion is wrong, (hope hope) and the SC grants a writ of certiori to a D.C. appeal of this decision, that situation would have the potential to give new life to the moribund 2nd Amendment and the VPC's worst nightmare could conceivably become reality. May God in his infinite wisdom and perfect justice grant that it turn out that way.
you are equating Jim Crow laws with owning a gun??
Lets do a survey of DC and I bet you would find out this:
90% of people that have a gun, shouldn't.
and 90% of people that don't have a gun, are robbed.
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