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
Nah, not Romney, not since he's been freed from Masachusetts political calculations.
....along with a few Freepers.
Except that those of us who know his well-documented track record will know that he's full of crap. With his proud and blatant violation of the 1996 Federal immigration reform law -- which was upheld in the face of multiple legal challenges against it by the Giuliani administration -- Giuliani permanently forfeited any credibility he ever had when it comes to "respecting" a court ruling of this sort.
Yes, I understand what "well regulated" means in the Constitutional context.
However, I was referring to "dumbass leftists" who, in the arrogance of their own superiority for simply BEING "liberals", think that their contemporary interpretation of any words in the Constitution is actually what it means.
Overtunring the decision en banc would almost certainly result in Supreme Court review.
Well, that's silly, not all states had a significant number of slaves.
But I would think that rescinding the right to vote would be a good start.
The founders did not grant the den of thieves the privilege of voting for very good reasons.
Re-electing a conviced felon as mayor just verified it...
SHELLY PARKER, ET AL.,
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND
ADRIAN M. FENTY, MAYOR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
1) Washington, DC is a Federal District. It is not a part of any state, and has its own government, subject only (and directly) to the US Congress.
2) Currently, Washington DC city ordinance effectively prohibits the citizen ownership of any firearms. Even long guns must be stored disassembled.
3) Washington, DC has a very high crime rate. The surrounding areas of Virginia (that's one of the 50 States) and Maryland (another of the 50 States), have lower crime rates.
4) Virginia has a "shall issue" concealed carry law, and State-level preemption of local gun ordinances.
5) Maryland has a "we won't issue unless you're politically connected" concealed carry law; as well it bans the ownership of a variety of guns that it calls "assault weapons"
6) Prince George's County and Montgomery County Maryland have higher crime rates than Arlington County and Fairfax County Virginia.
These are simple statements of fact; data upon which to base one's reasoning.
The court decision will likely make citizen gun ownership in Washington, DC much easier. How do you suppose Washington, DC's 'private sector' criminal class, which has somehow managed all these years to acquire guns, react to the peacable citizens beginning to arm themselves?
Quick, duck ...pigs are flying!
And how much will the left twist themselves in absolute knots trying NOT to attribute the crime drop to the citizens being able to defend themselves?
Rest easy, Patriots of Lexington and Concord, someone still understands.
Jaxter, we were talking along those lines a few days back, no?
I agree with you, crime around the DC area will go up if those areas have gun bans in place, but, ya just gotta be a little clearer (you know what you mean...some of us don't).
I predict exploding heads in the Washington comPost editorial offices ...
Has he said anything on this? I'm going by his actions as governor of Ma.