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DC ban on carrying handguns is unconstitutional, federal judge says

Published time: July 27, 2014 02:05
Edited time: July 29, 2014 08:38
Reuters/Kevork Djansezian

Reuters/Kevork Djansezian

In a landmark gun control case, a federal judge in Washington DC has overturned the city’s total ban on carrying handguns outside the home, saying it is unconstitutional.

"There is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia's total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny," Judge Frederick Scullin said.

"Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia's complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional," Scullin added in his 19-page ruling.

The ruling was made in the PALMER et al v. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA et al case.

The court order now allows both city residents and non-residents to carry handguns outside their homes.

The case has been dragging on for five years, with the lead attorney for the Second Amendment Foundation, Alan Gura, asking the federal appeals court twice to force Judge Scullin to issue a decision.

I’m very pleased with the decision that the city can’t forbid the exercise of a fundamental constitutional right," Gura told Fox News. He added, however, that he expects the District to appeal the decision.

The Supreme Court struck down DC’s ban on the possession of handguns in the home in the 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, under the basis that it violated the right to bear arms guaranteed by the US Constitution's Second Amendment. Following the ruling, the DC Council approved regulations that permitted residents to register certain handguns.

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