Get in On The Ground Floor of the Next D.C. Gun Lawsuit


D.C.'s City Council continues its constantly shifting reaction to the Supreme Court's Heller decision that overturned its gun ban. (See here and here for some of their post-Heller scramblings.) This week, they vote to enforce "safety training" before a gun can be legally registered in D.C. D.C.'s City Paper with the details. The key part for the future:

At the last council meeting, Councilmember Mary M. Cheh had proposed the measure as an amendment to the bill governing the regulation of handguns. Since then, the mayor's office raised concerns about the possibility that such a requirement, shared with very few other jurisdictions, would attract new litigation from the gun-rights crowd. Phil Mendelson, the at-large councilmember who chairs the judiciary and public safety committee and has taken the lead on writing the city's new gun laws, agreed with that assessment and opposed Cheh's amendment.

Cheh tried again this week, and won with a 10-3 vote. Mendelson, who rightfully fears a lawsuit, was one of the three. The extent to which the now-Supremes certified right to own handguns in the home can be circumscribed by these sort of safety regulations will be the subject of many suits in the future–especially when/if the incorporation question (that is, does Heller apply to states and localities?) is settled. This move by the D.C. Council will doubtless trigger one of the more important such suits.

For aaaaall the background on this, see my new book on the Heller case and gun control, Gun Control on Trial.