Washington, D.C. Discovers Constitution


Friday's big news, which broke a bit late for H&R:

A federal appeals court overturned the District of Columbia's long-standing handgun ban Friday, rejecting the city's argument that the Second Amendment right to bear arms applied only to militias.

In a 2-1 decision, the judges held that the activities protected by the Second Amendment "are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent" on enrollment in a militia.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the city cannot prevent people from keeping handguns in their homes. The ruling also struck down a requirement that owners of registered firearms keep them unloaded and disassembled. The court did not address provisions that prohibit people from carrying unregistered guns outside the home.

The decision marks the first time a federal appeals court has struck down a portion of a gun law on Second Amendment grounds.

That's huge. And one angle you probably won't hear: This is the direction DC public opinion has been moving toward for some time. Only one month ago Marion Barry, DC's statesman/punchline who now holds a city council seat, proposed a halt to the gun ban.