Monday, August 4, 2008

Around the nation: DC ignores Heller ruling

On 26 June, the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia vs. Heller that Washington, DC’s handgun ban violated the Second Amendment, forcing the city to draft new gun legislation. The DC city council is now considering that new legislation, but if it passes, it’s almost certain that the District will end up in court again. That’s because DC’s new law doesn’t look much different from the old one.

While handguns would be allowed in DC homes under the new legislation, semiautomatic pistols would still be illegal. “The semiautomatic ban is clearly unconstitutional,” said Alan Gura, the attorney who successfully challenged DC’s handgun ban. “The overwhelming majority of handguns people use in the United States are semiautomatic.” This is significant because the Supreme Court majority opinion noted that weapons in “common use” could not be banned, but only “dangerous and unusual weapons.”

Also basically unchanged is DC’s requirement that guns be locked or disassembled unless there is an “immediate threat.” In other words, the District of Columbia expects residents to assemble and load a revolver while being attacked by an intruder in the middle of the night. We doubt the Supreme Court would be amused, especially since Chief Justice John Roberts mocked the very idea during the oral-arguments phase of Heller.

No matter—Washington, DC, is intent on defying the Heller ruling anyway. “[B]ecause we really haven’t changed the storage rule from the prior unconstitutional law and because of other features, I do agree that this is a lawsuit waiting to happen,” said council member Mary Cheh, “but we’ll be prepared.” The problem is, the law-abiding citizen who is threatened in his own home won’t be prepared.

Reprinted from the Patriot Post (

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

guess I would just have to take my chances and keep 'my gun' assembled and ready 'for use'. That is one of those, "your own personal feelings" regarding protecting your home and family - are there little ones in the home, etc. Guess we need Uncle Sam to 'tell us' what to do...............DUH!!!!!