Skip to comments.Federal Judge Upholds D.C.'s Post-'Heller' Firearm Restrictions
Posted on 03/29/2010 10:21:45 AM PDT by greatdefender
Judge Ricardo Urbina of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled Friday that the Washington, D.C., firearm ordinances enacted after the Supreme Court's D.C. v. Heller decision in 2008 "permissibly regulate the exercise of the core Second Amendment right to use firearms for the purpose of self-defense in the home." Urbina dismissed a case brought by Dick Heller, the same plaintiff who challenged the previous D.C. ordinance in the Supreme Court.
Heller challenged the District's firearms registration process, its ban on assault weapons and its prohibition of "large capacity ammunition feeding devices," claiming they violated the Second Amendment. In analyzing the Supreme Court's Heller decision, Urbina said the Second Amendment right to bear arms "is not unlimited." He cited Justice Antonin Scalia's admonition that the Court's decision, while declaring an individual right to bear arms, did not "cast doubt" on a range of firearms regulations. Urbina said he was applying "intermediate scrutiny" to D.C.'s new ordinances, and under that standard, he concluded the regulations were permissible because they serve the District's "important governmental interest" in public safety.
Gun control advocates applauded the ruling as proof that the Heller decision did not sweep away all forms of firearm regulation. "Today's court decision is the latest ruling to make it clear that the Second Amendment allows strong common sense gun laws," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. "Once again, the courts have rejected the gun lobby's attempt to transform the core right to guns in the home for self-defense into a mandate for their any gun, anywhere' agenda. Politicians and legislatures at all levels should stop using the Second Amendment as an excuse for inaction against gun violence. They should follow the District's example and pass the strong, common sense gun laws Americans need and demand to protect their communities."
D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles offered this written statement in reaction to the ruling: "I am gratified that the Court repeatedly recognized the reasonable and conscientious efforts that the Council and the Mayor made to strike the proper balance between addressing the legitimate rights of firearm owners, and taking every reasonable action to assure the safety of the District's residents and visitors."
Heller's lawyer Stephen Halbrook said on Friday that the decision was disappointing, and "I'd be surprised if we don't appeal." Halbrook, a Virginia lawyer and Second Amendment scholar, commented that even though Urbina said he was using an intermediate level of scrutiny in appraising the D.C. law, he was in fact overly deferential toward the city. "He repeated uncritically whatever the [D.C. Council] committee report said." Halbrook also said the ultimate fate of the D.C. ordinance may depend in part on what the Supreme Court says about how fundamental the right to bear arms is in the pending case of McDonald v. City of Chicago.
common sense gun laws = total prohibition for non police and non military.
"...the Supreme Court did not explicitly hold that the Second Amendment right is a fundamental right, despite the fact that it stated that "[b]y the timeof the founding, the right to have arms had become fundamental for English subjects" and noted that Blackstone "cited the arms provision of the Bill of Rights as one of the fundamental rights of Englishmen." Id. at 2798. If the Supreme Court had wanted to declare the Second Amendment right a fundamental right, it would have done so explicitly. The court will not infer such a significant holding based only on the Heller majoritys oblique references to the gun ownership rights of eighteenth-century English subjects."
Heller was always just the beginning. Court recognition of the 2nd Amendment will necessarily be followed by cases from all over the country testing the limits thereof — does the right to “bear” mean the right to carry?; does the 2nd protect automatic-weapon ownership?; can trigger-locks be required?; can certain ammunition be banned?; can certian weapons additions or alterations be banned (drums, suppressors, etc.)?.
Heller raised more questions than it answered, and basically opened an entire new arena of jurisprudence surrounding the 2nd Amendment.
So he's once again trying to re-write the Constitution to a narrow "right" granted only by the judiciary for certain narrow "purposes".
In other words, no right at all.
Just another totalitarian.
Yes. I'm serious.
I dunnow; it looks pretty confusing to me. /s
Definitions of "bear" on the Web:
* move while holding up or supporting; "Bear gifts"; "bear a heavy load"; "bear news"; "bearing orders"
* wear: have on one's person; "He wore a red ribbon"; "bear a scar"
* have rightfully; of rights, titles, and offices; "She bears the title of Duchess"; "He held the governorship for almost a decade"
It took the Supreme Court 220 years to declare that the “right to keep” included the right to own ... they haven’t caught up on the definition of “bear” yet.
Well, obviously, the wise latino Judge knows much much more than those who wrote the constitution. He has benefit of wise latino experience unlike the pesky royal oppression and domination of our forefathers. Such sociological wealth! Such foresight! Such bullshit.
This ruling needs a serious ass-kicking by the SCOTUS.
Shall ... not ... be ... infringed!
That is very funny. I assume that is comedy. What, it’s not? My mistake.
Amazing! He thinks 18th century “English” subjects had more natural rights than Americans. I guess we really screwed up breaking away from the Monarchy. /s
You can’t beat city hall
Heller went the right way and DC made mince meat of the decision.
Gun owners will never beat them. They can make laws faster that the Supreme Court can rule them Constitutional.
There is but one way and it may come to that later.
2nd amendment is clear on federal laws, and D.C. anti got no non-federal laws.
>> common sense gun laws = total prohibition for non police and non military.
He must think we are either "subjects", or he aims to make us that way. In any case, he isn't fit to sit on the federal bench much less be a judge in any American court.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.