Court Strikes Down D.C. Handgun Ban

2008

Striking down a strict gun-control law in the District of Columbia, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, upholds an individual’s right to possess a handgun. The Court has not addressed the scope of the Second Amendment since 1939, and District of Columbia v. Heller is the first ruling to directly address the meaning of the amendment’s ambiguous wording: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The Court says the right is not unlimited. For example, it said, laws on carrying concealed weapons or prohibiting possession by convicted felons should not be affected.