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
Isn't this the first court case stating that the 2nd Amendment applies to individuals? This is absolutely landmark, in that case.
Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg are going to be greatly disappointed to hear this.
Someone with intestinal fortitude and money needs to openly bring a 'prohibited' weapon into D.C. today with the attitude of 'Go ahead. Charge me'.
Woo-hoo!!!! A bright point of light... I hope this stands.
So then we could reinstitute slavery in the District of Columbia? LOL! The depths that lefties go to justify their collectivist beliefs are amazing.
Calling Carl Rowan; Mr. Rowan? It's ok now.
The silence of the MSM is deafening.
How does former Proseutor Guiliani stand on this ruling?
How does lawyer Hilary Clinton stand on this?
BOTH have stood for this as COLLECTIVE right.
This cases potential is HUGE.
And from the DC circuit court, no less.
There's still hope...
Is this for real? I just can't imagine any federal court today making a ruling like this. If true, this is a major victory for gun rights.
Kinda makes you wonder if someone finally cracked a history book.
"Laws abridging the natural right of the citizen should be restrained by rigorous constructions within their narrowest limits." --Thomas Jefferson to Isaac McPherson, 1813. ME 13:327
"The whole of the Bill [of Rights] is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals
It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of." Albert Gallatin of the New York Historical Society, October 7, 1789
We still have hope!! Nice!
There have been rumblings from Marion Barry (of all people), as well as at least one police chief, that the DC gun ban needed to go away.
'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.'
This is excellent!! Finally someone gets it. now let me have an m16 to defend myself from a tyrannical government or threat from abroad.
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