Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Federal Court Issues Mixed Ruling In D.C. Gun Case

A federal appeals court issued a mixed ruling on Washington D.C.’s gun control laws last week, upholding a number of restrictions on D.C. gun owners while ruling other restrictions unconstitutional.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld laws requiring D.C. gun owners to be fingerprinted and photographed, complete a firearms safety-training course, and register all weapons with the city (including rifles and handguns.)

Meanwhile, it struck down laws prohibiting gun owners from registering more than one pistol per month, requiring them to re-register their weapons every three years, and mandating they pass a test about gun laws.

The plaintiff in the case was Dick Heller, who famously won a Supreme Court case against Washington, D.C., in 2008. In that case, the court ruled for the first time ever that the Second Amendment protects the right of individual Americans to won a gun, striking down the city’s prohibition on handguns.

The city council of the District responded by passing the Firearms Registration Amendment Act of 2008, which it amended in 2012. Heller filed lawsuits challenging both the 2008 law and the amended version of 2012. Last week’s appeals court ruling addressed the most recent of Heller’s lawsuits.

It is unknown whether either side will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

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