"the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms," striking down a 31-year old ban on guns in the nation's capital. Moreover, the court continued, activities protected by the Amendment "are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or intermittent enrollment in the militia."
That means the D.C. handgun ban is unconstitutional and, unless the Supreme Court overturns the Parker decision, the ban will have to be lifted. Most likely, the D.C. government will now ask the Supreme Court to review the appellate court decision. If so, the high court could decide this summer whether to take the case.
"If the Supreme Court grants review, the citizens of this country will finally have a foursquare pronouncement from the nation's highest court about the real meaning of the Second Amendment," said Cato Institute senior fellow Robert Levy, who acted as plaintiff's co-counsel. "That's good news. For those of us who have long argued that the Second Amendment secures an individual's right to own a firearm for personal protection, the D.C. Circuit has confirmed that the Constitution is on our side."
The full text of the original complaint, Parker v. District of Columbia, is available at http://www.cato.org/pubs/legalbriefs/gunsuit.pdf.
The Cato Institute is a nonpartisan public policy research foundation dedicated to broadening policy debate consistent with the traditional American principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace.
Talk Show America 5/10/2007