Washington, D.C., Handgun Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

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Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 27 2014 11:08 AM

D.C. Handgun Ban Ruled Unconstitutional, Capital Must Allow Guns in Public

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A court ruled that Washington, D.C., can no longer ban handguns in public.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Washington, D.C.’s ban on carrying a handgun in public is unconstitutional. In his ruling released on Saturday, Judge Frederick Scullin wrote “[t]here is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia's total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny.” The ruling, Reuters notes, effectively orders “the city to allow residents to carry handguns outside their homes and to let non-residents carry them as well.”

Here’s more on the erosion of the District’s attempts to limit access to guns in the city via WJLA:

It's the second time in recent years that the District's strict gun laws have been reversed by the courts for violating the Second Amendment; a 2008 Supreme Court ruling tossed out D.C.'s ban on handgun ownership altogether, however a federal appeals court in 2011 did uphold gun registration requirements.
Saturday's ruling was the culmination of a five-year legal challenge by gun law opponents against the District, which the judge noted is the only jurisdiction in the nation to currently impose a total ban on carrying guns in public. The lawsuit was brought by several District residents and non-residents, all of whom said they wanted to carry handguns for self-defense but were denied gun carry permits.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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