Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”     Thomas Jefferson

July 29, 2008

Heller v. District Of Columbia, Round Two

by Doug Mataconis

Just over a month after the United States Supreme Court struck down the District of Columbia’s handgun ban, the man who brought that case is suing the District again over it’s response to the Supreme Court’s ruling:

The man who successfully challenged the D.C. handgun ban before the U.S. Supreme Court filed a second federal lawsuit yesterday, alleging that the District’s new gun-registration system is burdensome and continues to unlawfully outlaw most semiautomatic pistols.

Dick A. Heller, a 66-year-old security guard who lives on Capitol Hill, and two other plaintiffs allege in the lawsuit that the D.C. government violated the letter and the spirit of the landmark Supreme Court decision, issued June 26, that struck down the District’s decades-old handgun ban.

The 5 to 4 ruling concluded that the Second Amendment grants individuals the right to possess guns for self-defense but said governments may impose reasonable restrictions. The lawsuit filed yesterday in U.S District Court says the District’s restrictions go too far.

The suit urges U.S. District Judge Richard M. Urbina to toss most of the District’s new requirements, which include ballistics tests of registered handguns. It also asks him to eliminate restrictions on semiautomatic handguns and to order D.C. police to approve the handgun applications of the three plaintiffs.

To call the District’s “response” to the Supreme Court ruling cynical would be putting it nicely, so it’s nice to see Heller and the others moving quickly to bring this issue before the Courts. Something tells me, though, that Dick Heller may have another date with the Supremes in two or three years.

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2 Comments

  1. DC has a much harder, if not impossible road to travel than it did before the Supreme Court decision. For example, DC is contemplating limiting possession of handguns to revolvers. This is going to be very hard for them to carry, as part of the Heller decision is:

    “…The District’s total ban
    on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense…”

    In addition, the Heller decision does not limit the use of firearms to home use only:

    “…and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.,,”

    Key words in the above quote: “…such as…”

    In addition, the right protected by the second amendment is one which falls under strict scrutiny: since the second amendment is an enumerated right.

    I doubt very seriously that the follow up case by Heller will make it past the court of appeals: although DC will surely try.

    Comment by Harry Rossman — August 2, 2008 @ 8:48 pm
  2. God bless Dick Heller. If every citizen were REQUIRED to carry a handgun, crime would drop astronomically. Not only that, but the police would be a hell of a lot more friendly. I would think there’s something about knowing your potential victims are packing heat, that deters crime.

    Suddenly, that 90 year old grandma’s purse doesn’t look so attractive, if you can make out the outline of a Desert Eagle on her person.

    Comment by Eric Ogunbase — August 6, 2008 @ 3:14 pm

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