Hit & Run

Great Idea; Awful Timing

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Legislation introduced in the Senate would finally repeal Washington, D.C.'s sweeping gun ban. Normally, even the introduction of such a bill would be unadulterated good news. The only problem is, it may preempt a still broader victory for gun rights.

As Reason readers already know, attorneys and Cato Institute scholars Gene Healy and Bob Levy are in the midst of bringing a Second Amendment lawsuit challenging the city's gun ban. This is probably the best shot at a pure Second Amendment victory in the courts we're going to see for a while. The law being challenged is a particularly comprehensive denial of even the most basic gun rights, it allows the Second Amendment question to be reached without dealing with hairy incorporation issues (because the feds have jurisdiction over D.C.), and the plaintiffs are as sympathetic a group as a lawyer could possibly ask for. A victory there would transform the national gun rights debate—but that can't happen if the suit's target is taken off the table too soon.