Washington D.C. Gun Ban Overturned by Supreme Court
The Supreme Court overturned a 32 year-old law banning the sale of guns in Washington D.C. today. In a 5-4 decision, the Courts ruled that a complete ban on the sale of guns, which had been the law in the District of Columbia since 1976, infringes upon Second Ammendment rights.
The case, District of Columbia v. Heller, is the first Supreme Court case to interpret the second ammendment in 70 years. In his 64-page opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia said that "a complete prohibition of [handguns]'s use is invalid." Scalia wrote that states do have the right to regulate the selling of firearms, but completely banning it is unconstitutional.
District of Columbia officials will need to establish new laws regarding the selling of firearms before any will be sold. The ability to own a gun will not be absolute, Scalia said, and he hopes that the District will establish laws to ensure a safe and legal system.
In his dissenting opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the Second Ammendment "does not curtail the Legislature's power to regulate the nonmilitary use and ownership of weapons." Today's decision made clear that it indeed does. Now Washington D.C., a city with one of the highest crime rates in America, hopes that it will make its streets safer, not more dangerous as some oppoents fear.
Tags: Washington D.C. , Gun Ban , Supreme Court , Second Ammendment , Heller
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