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News Release
March 12, 2007

Constitutional Legal Scholar Acclaims Federal Court's Overturning of D.C. Gun Ban

OAKLAND, Calif., March 12, 2007—On March 9th, a federal appeals court in the District of Columbia overturned the 31-year old ban on keeping handguns in homes in the nation’s capital city, ruling that the ban is unconstitutional. The panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit became the nation's first federal appeals court to overturn a gun-control law by declaring that the Second Amendment grants a person the right to possess firearms.

“The Founders’ true intent of the Second Amendment is vindicated by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Parker v. D.C. (2007),” said constitutional legal scholar Stephen Halbrook, Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. “Rejecting the perverse ‘collective rights’ view that this Bill of Rights guarantee protects governmental units rather than persons, the Court squarely holds that law-abiding individuals have the right to keep and bear arms, and thus that DC's ban on possession of handguns even in the home is unconstitutional.” Halbrook, who has written extensively about the second amendment, is the author of the Independent Institute’s forthcoming book, The Founders’ Second Amendment, which is being published by Stanford University Press.

”Based on the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, this ground-breaking ruling overturns one of the longest running and most restrictive gun bans in the U.S.,” said David Theroux, President of the Independent Institute. “Washington, D.C., has led the nation with the highest murder rate for most every year of this ban's existence. The federal court's decision upholding the individual's right to self-defense should be applauded by all those who care about the civil liberty protections of the Bill of Rights.”

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