D.C. appeals overthrown gun ban ruling to U.S. Supreme Court
The Associated Press is reporting that the D.C government has decided to petition the Supreme Court to hear its appeal of the federal circuit court's decision to overturn the city's 30-year-old handgun ban.
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From the story:
- Mayor Adrian Fenty's office says the city's ban on most handguns can and
should be defended.
The gun law bars residents from keeping handguns in their homes and
carrying a gun without a license. Registered firearms must be kept
unloaded and disassembled.
In March, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals sided with
six District residents who sued to be able to keep their guns for self
defense. The decision repealed much of the city's handgun ban, but the
ban stays in place through the appeals process.
D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer plans to file a 30-day extension
Monday so the request can get to the high court by Sept. 5.
The city's sweeping gun ban is matched only by Chicago among large U.S.
If the high court takes up the case, it would mark the first time in 70
years that justices will consider the breadth of the Second Amendment.
The Parker case has become the most significant Second Amendment case in the nation’s history, because for the first time, a gun control law was struck down on the grounds that it violated the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Judge Silberman’s ruling found that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms that goes beyond service in a militia.
Alan M. Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, has stated that “the time is long past due for the Supreme Court to hear a case that has such gravity in terms of the Second Amendment and its true meaning. For almost 70 years, a state of confusion has existed over whether the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right, as we are certain it does, rather than affirming some convoluted ‘collective right’ of the states to form militias. That interpretation has been carefully fabricated over the years by anti-gun zealots whose ultimate goal is to strip American citizens of their firearms rights.
“We think this question must be answered,” he continued, “to forever silence those gun control extremists who have been misinterpreting – we believe deliberately – the 1939 U.S. v Miller case in an on-going effort to destroy the cornerstone of the Bill of Rights, and the foundation for liberty in this country. This appears to be the right case, and this is certainly the right time.”
Washington Post, May 17, 2007: Gun Ban Ruling Puts Fenty on the Spot - Going to High Court Would Be Risky
- Joshua Horwitz, executive director of the D.C. based Coalition to Stop
Gun Violence. "Despite all the rhetoric about 'We're taking this all the way to the Supreme Court,' you have to really think this one through.
...Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, was
quite direct: "We're very concerned about this case because if it's
allowed to stand, and if it becomes the law of the land, it places in
jeopardy just about every other gun law you can think of."
But Helmke also said: "The D.C. law is an easy one to shoot at.
Factually, it's a tougher one to get behind and defend. Background
checks and assault weapons ban -- you can defend all day long. . . . Why is this the one we're going to be taking up to the Supremes?"