Policy Forum

D.C. Gun Ban in the Cross Hairs

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Date and Time
March 22, 2007 4 - 5:30 PM EDT
Featuring: Alan Gura, Gura & Possessky, PLLC; and Robert A. Levy, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute.

In a blockbuster opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Senior Judge Laurence H. Silberman, joined by Judge Thomas B. Griffith, ruled that “the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.” The case was Parker v. District of Columbia, which challenged a 1976 D.C. law banning all handgun registrations, barring pistols already registered from being carried from room to room in the home without a license, and requiring all firearms in the home, including rifles and shotguns, to be unloaded and either disassembled or bound by a trigger lock. In effect, no one could possess a functional firearm in his home in the District. Unless and until the Supreme Court says otherwise, it looks as though the 31‐​year‐​old gun ban is history.

Meanwhile, some members of Congress would like to repeal the D.C. ban. Would their bill keep Parker out of the Supreme Court? How will gun laws in other jurisdictions be affected? What role should Congress play? And is D.C., because it’s not a state, exempt from the Second Amendment? For a discussion of those and other questions, please join Alan Gura, lead counsel, and Robert A. Levy, co‐​counsel to the plaintiffs in Parker v. District of Columbia.