Supreme Court Upholds Second Amendment Rights Nation's highest court strikes down gun ban in nation's capitol

Press Release

By:  Jack Kingston
Date: June 26, 2008
Location: Washington, DC

The United States Supreme Court today upheld the second amendment rights of every American to posses and use firearms by striking down a 32-year ban on private possession of handguns in Washington, D.C.

"This is a victory for homeowners who chose to defend themselves," Congressman Kingston said. "Under current law in the District of Columbia, someone can break into your home and hold you at gunpoint but you're unable to legally defend yourself with a gun. Today's decision strikes down this unusual law and, in doing so, the Court adhered to the Constitution and upheld an individual's right to defense himself."

In striking down the District's 32-year old ban on firearms, the court also nullified two provisions which required that rifles and shotguns be at all times kept disassembled or secured with a trigger lock.

In the majority opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, "There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms." Justice Scalia was joined in the majority by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito.

According to the National Rifle Association, there are approximately 200 million privately-owned firearms in the United States, of which 60 million to 65 million are handguns.