Big, big news on the gun rights front. As reported on the invaluable Scotusblog:
After a hiatus of 68 years, the Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to rule on the meaning of the Second Amendment….. Not since 1939 has the Court heard a case directly testing the Amendment's scope — and there is a debate about whether it actually decided anything in that earlier ruling. In a sense, the Court may well be writing on a clean slate if it, in the end, decides the ultimate question: does the Second Amendment guarantee an individual right to have a gun for private use, or does it only guarantee a collective right to have guns in an organized military force such as a state National Guard unit?
The city of Washington's appeal (District of Columbia v. Heller, 07-290) is expected to be heard in March — slightly more than a year after the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that the right is a personal one, at least to have a gun for self-defense in one's own home.
Here is the way the Court phrased the granted issue:
"Whether the following provisions — D.C. Code secs. 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02 — violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes?"
The background of the case, which began as Parker v. District of Columbia, challenging D.C.'s wide-ranging ban on private gun ownership, is explained pretty well at this wiki page, with lots o' links.
Robert VerBruggen from our June 2005 issue on how municipal gun bans harm the people.