Court Strikes Down D.C. Ban on Guns; Fenty 'Outraged' at Overturning of 30-Year-Old Law

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 10, 2007 | Go to article overview

Court Strikes Down D.C. Ban on Guns; Fenty 'Outraged' at Overturning of 30-Year-Old Law


Byline: Tarron Lively and Daniel Taylor, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A federal appeals court yesterday struck down the District's 30-year-old gun ban, ruling that the right to bear arms as guaranteed in the Second Amendment applies to individuals and not only to militias.

"The Second Amendment would be an inexplicable aberration if it were not read to protect individual rights as well," the 58-page ruling said.

The 2-1 decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned a 2004 lower-court decision against six D.C. residents who filed suit to keep guns for self-protection.

"The District insists that the phrase 'keep and bear arms' should be read as purely military language, and thus indicative of a civic, rather than private, guarantee," the ruling said. "The term 'bear arms' is obviously susceptible to a military construction. But it is not accurate to construe it exclusively so."

The court did not consider whether city officials could ban guns in public or in vehicles.

Senior Judge Laurence H. Silberman wrote the majority opinion, which was supported by Judge Thomas B. Griffith. Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson dissented, arguing that the Second Amendment does not apply to the District because it is not a state.

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said he was "outraged" by the court's decision, which overturns a law that "has been unquestioned for more than 30 years."

"Today's decision flies in the face of laws that have helped decrease gun violence in the District of Columbia," he said. "The ruling also turns aside longstanding precedents and marks the first time in the history of the United States that a federal appeals court has struck down a gun law on Second Amendment grounds."

Linda Singer, the District's acting attorney general, said the city will appeal the decision to the full 14-member federal appeals panel. The District's gun laws will remain in place through the appeals process.

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, celebrated yesterday's decision, though he acknowledged the battle is far from over.

"We're happy to see there's a crack in the door for [the District] to join the rest of the country in full constitutional freedom," Mr. LaPierre said, adding that his organization would be "watching the appeals process like everyone else."

Alan Gura, an attorney for the plaintiffs, called the ruling a "tremendous victory for the civil rights of all Americans."

"The case has implications far beyond the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms," he said. "Had the city prevailed, no individual right would be secure from governmental claims that it is no longer practical or beneficial, or from arguments that 'the people' protected in the Bill of Rights are merely a euphemism for the government."

The District has some of the nation's strictest gun laws, prohibiting ownership of most guns that were not registered before 1977. Privately owned rifles and shotguns must be kept at home and stored unloaded, disassembled or bound by a trigger lock or a similar device. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Court Strikes Down D.C. Ban on Guns; Fenty 'Outraged' at Overturning of 30-Year-Old Law
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.